Alas, Davis thought about it and then some.
Davis made a whole batch of copies of Intuit’s original, copyrighted software. CD for which he created counterfeit packaging and counterfeit labels. In fact, he made lots of CDs; all of which lacked Intuit’s permission.
So far, bad enough, but, in time, it gets worse for Davis. He sells his counterfeit tax software on eBay. The bucks roll in and, ever good to his word, Davis mails the counterfeit products to the buyers.
Amateur Lawyer, Amateur Results
Now, our young entrepreneur seemed to have had an inkling – just a tickle or an itch, but, still, he had that twitch – that he was doing something wrong, maybe even illegal .Okay, hmmm, maybe this counterfeiting thing could get me in trouble?
Perhaps Davis was told by a friend who knew this dentist who had a patient who was a receptionist at a company that had a lawyer who said that middlemen should disclaim their roles as agents of a given principal. Whatever, our intrepid counterfeiter apparently believed that he could legally protect himself when he sometimes included a disclaimer with his merchandise that stated he was merely acting as a broker for another seller. Of course, not only was that a false representation but, frankly, pretty useless when it comes to fending off lawsuits or criminal prosecutions.
OMG . . . LOL
Then there’s this one other little slip up. Frankly, it sort of put a smile on my face. Here we have a guy counterfeiting tax preparation software and, lo and behold, Davis failed to report the income from those sales when he filed his income tax returns for 2008 and 2009.
On June 6, 2011, in federal court in the Southern District of Ohio, Davis, 31, pleaded guilty to:
- one count of mail fraud ,
- one count of copyright infringement, and
- two counts of filing a false income tax return
in connection with sales of more than $1 million worth of counterfeit financial and tax preparation software through an Internet auction site.
At sentencing, Davis faces maximum penalties of:
- 20 years in prison for the mail fraud charge,
- five years in prison for the copyright infringement charge, and
- up to three years in prison for each tax charge.
Also, Davis agreed to a money judgment and tax lien of $80,074 and to pay restitution in an amount to be determined by the court. He also agreed to forfeit all computer items used to manufacture and distribute the fake software, a 2006 Hummer ,and $192,117 that was seized from his bank accounts. Sentencing is scheduled for September 2011.