August 28, 2006
Prosecutors and investigators hail the sentence as a major triumph. The Lakeland entrepreneur also is ordered to pay $4.1-million in restitution.
Source: St. Petersburg Times
Written by Carrie Weimar
Visitors to Danny Ferrer’s Web site found deals too good to be true.
Instead of paying $600 for Adobe Photoshop, Ferrer listed it for $99.95 on his site, www.buysusa.com. He offered similar deals for other products.
Business boomed for the Lakeland entrepreneur. Ferrer launched a flight school at the Lakeland airport. He bought three planes, a helicopter, a Lamborghini, a Hummer and three Chevrolet Corvettes.
Then the federal government intervened.
On Friday, Ferrer was in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., where he was sentenced to six years in federal prison. He pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit copyright infringement and one count of copyright infringement in June.
Ferrer, 37, was also ordered to pay $4.1-million in restitution.
Prosecutors and investigators hailed the sentence as a major triumph in the battle against software piracy. U.S. Department of Justice officials estimate Ferrer cost software companies Adobe, Macromedia and Autodesk more than $20-million in lost sales in the three years he operated his Web site.
“It sends a message to pirates that law enforcement will track them down,” said Caroline Joiner, executive director of the Anti-Counterfeiting and Piracy Initiative for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce.
“This sentence shows that the consequences for piracy are real.”