B.G. man sentenced for counterfeit software scheme

By

Published:

 

A Battle Ground man was sentenced Monday in U.S. District Court to three years in prison for selling counterfeit Microsoft software for 10 years.

Wayne Chih-Wei Shu, 44, also received three years of supervised release upon completion of his prison sentence and was ordered by U.S. District Court Judge Benjamin Settle to pay $687,633 in restitution.

Chih-Wei Shu pleaded guilty Jan. 13 in U.S. District Court in Tacoma to mail fraud, trafficking in counterfeit goods, trafficking in illicit labels and two counts of willful failure to file tax returns.

Shu owned and operated four companies — Micro Sharp Inc., Micro Sharp Technologies Inc., Microsharp.com.Inc., and Meet Your Price Inc. — that sold counterfeit software, or software that had been tampered with.

The sales included kits that contained several components, some genuine, some not, that made it difficult for customers to find out the software was counterfeit.

When police executed a search warrant on Chih-Wei Shu’s residence in June 2007, they seized $2.6 million worth of software and other materials. An analysis revealed 41 percent of the software to be counterfeit, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Seattle.

As part of the plea agreement, Chih-Wei Shu admitted to selling more than $1 million of counterfeit software and illicit labels. He continued to sell the counterfeit products even after Microsoft sent him multiple cease-and-desist letters.

The investigation also revealed that Chih-Wei Shu and his wife, Maynila Voravongseng, 43, stopped filing personal or corporate income tax returns in 2004, resulting in an estimated tax loss of more than $650,000, according to the news release.

Voravongseng was sentenced May 24 to 30 days in jail after pleading guilty to the tax charges.