back to article Big fines and jail time for MS scammers

Four people convicted last year of scamming Microsoft by reselling discounted education versions of its software have been ordered to pay $5m in fines, return $20m to Microsoft and serve up to five years in prison. Husband and wife Mirza and Sameena Ali, of Fremont, got five-year sentences for conspiracy, mail fraud, wire …


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  1. Chris Purcell
    Gates Horns

    MS scammers

    Darn it! When I first read that title, I assumed the high-up MS executives were finally getting their comeuppance...

  2. Anonymous Coward

    While I agree that this is scummy behavior...

    While I believe that this is scummy behavior, isn't the punishment a little extreme. While MS was defrauded, it's not like the really crappy (IMHO) action of selling copies of Windows with fake or hacked licenses. Or purveyors of malware/fraudware/spyware. In a world where spammers, thieves, and for that matter, people that have actually killed someone get lighter prison sentences, it's hard to get too worked up over someone who didn't pay MS quite as much as they should for each copy of Windows they sold. I guess it isn't what you do, but who you piss off doing it, and how powerful they are... I suppose the recent RIAA trials are proof enough of that.

  3. The Sceptic
    Gates Horns

    About time

    I must say that Microsoft's pursuit of honor in this wrong doing must surely open the doors for everyone that Microsoft has ever shafted. Surely they should practice what they preach.

    Our organisation is heavily researching open source with a view to dumping Microsoft as their cost are becoming unrealistic. Its not enough now the cost of updating systems but the licensing is also fast becoming a joke.

    I can't wait till organisations start suing Microsoft for down time when their patches screw systems up - oh they can't but - Microsoft has EULA's which state their product is crap - unreliable & open to attack.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Were working this side of the street

    scram! Ahh the nerve of those scammers not duly ripping those business buyers off for the same product they sell to educators businesses should be well and truly screwed and all the money belongs to Microsoft thus sayeth the US government.The fact that my tax money was used to enforce someones business arrangements isn't yet a crime but I am working on it.

  5. Tim Bates
    Thumb Down

    MS lost how much?

    MS lost up to $60m in sales? How? Did they presume that the people buying the low price educational copies would simply up and pay full recommended retail prices if they couldn't get the educational version? I doubt it.

    Now we should all sue MS for scamming us over the years. Things like selling XP as a new version of Windows when it was more or less a collection of patches for 2000, or the release of Windows Me, which was just silly. Surely we can all sue for that.

  6. Rob Stiles

    A Bit Extreme...

    This all seems extreme in the ridiculous. Sure, it was wrong but maybe Microsoft should be careful about who they sell their discounted software versions to. And is using trickery to get a discount really a crime? If so is jail time really an appropriate punishment?

  7. Ray Lopez

    Not a close case

    This is not a close case. In the past, as a consultant, I've bought with the academic discount since some stuff I do is non-profit. But here the defendants were trying to conceal their identity.

    But in theory it could be a problem...but not on the facts here


    "In 1996, after the Alis were audited by Microsoft and removed from the AER program for failure to comply with the terms of the licensing agreement, the Alis formed new corporations in the names of others to disguise their identity from Microsoft and reenter the AER program. In 1999, when Microsoft stopped accepting AER applications from new corporations, the Alis and Mr. Griffen, in the names of others, bought small companies throughout the United States that held Microsoft AER licensing agreements and thereafter continued to purchase academic software products."

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