Federal investigators acting on a tip from Microsoft have raided the home of an Everett man suspected of selling counterfeit software.
According to recently unsealed documents filed with the U.S. District Court in Seattle, agents with a Homeland Security Department taskforce raided the man’s apartment on March 8 following a months-long investigation. Investigators claim the man sold illegal copies of various Microsoft programs through Craigslist after importing the bootlegs from China.
In October, Microsoft corporate security informed federal authorities that the man was selling counterfeit software online. According a statement filed in support of the search warrant, Microsoft investigators had purchased several items from the man and determined they were illegal copies.
Writing the court, an Immigration and Customs Enforcement special agent noted that customs officers had seized a package apparently meant for the man on Oct. 18. That seizure prompted Microsoft to send a letter to the man warning his not to continue distributing the counterfeit software.
During the months that followed, the ICE agent purchased two items from the Everett man that later proved to be counterfeit. During each exchange, the man allegedly claimed the programs were authentic.
“(He) was evasive in response to questions about the authenticity of the product and stated that if customers complained, he would instruct them to go buy the products for much higher prices at retail establishments,” the special agent told the court.
The agent said the Everett man told undercover officers some customers wanted to “look a gift horse in the mouth” and “make a big deal about it.”
Having obtained a search warrant, agents raided the Everett home on the morning of March 8. According to court documents, they recovered 75 copies of Microsoft software and various electronics.
Charges have not yet been filed publicly in the case. The man has not been jailed.