Texas man who was part of father & son team of pirated software sellers sentenced to 18 months in prison

WASHINGTON - A man from Wichita Falls, Texas, was sentenced on Friday to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $599,771 in restitution for selling pirated computer software through the Internet. The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Todd Alan Cook, 24, pleaded guilty on March 11 to criminal copyright infringement in the U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va. Cook was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release after he completes his prison sentence.

According to court documents, from July 2006 through May 2008, Cook and his father, Robert D. Cook, and another individual operated several websites that sold large volumes of counterfeit software with a combined retail value of about $1 million. Cook admitted that he and his co-conspirators used these websites to sell downloadable counterfeit software without authorization from the copyright owners. The father, Robert Cook, also pleaded guilty on March 11 to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. He is scheduled to be sentenced Dec. 3.

This case was investigated by the ICE National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, with substantial assistance provided by the ICE HSI office in Dallas. The Wichita Falls Police Department also assisted in the investigation.

The ICE National Intellectual Property Rights Investigation Center (IPR Center) is one of the U.S. Government's key weapons in the fight against counterfeiting. The IPR Center offers one-stop shopping for both law enforcement and the private sector to address the growing transnational threat of counterfeit merchandise. The IPR Center coordinates outreach to U.S. rights holders and conducts domestic and international law enforcement training to stem the growing counterfeiting threat as well as coordinating and directing anti-counterfeiting investigations. To learn more about the IPR Center, visit www.ice.gov.

The public is encouraged to report information on counterfeiting and trademark violations by calling (866) IPR-2060.