A Chinese businessman has pleaded guilty to taking part in a multi-million dollar international software piracy conspiracy.
Wen Tao Liu, also known as Orland Liu, 37, pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, to conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit labels.
Liu is the eighth person to plead guilty in the software piracy scheme that prosecutors believe involved the trafficking of more than $100 million worth of unauthorized and counterfeit software products to thousands of customers online.
The investigation began in Kansas City in 2013 when investigators learned that a Kansas City man had bought and redistributed tens of thousands of illegitimate and unauthorized Microsoft product key codes and counterfeit product key cards from sources in China.
Liu, a citizen of the People’s Republic of China, was arrested in June 2016 in Dallas while traveling back to China.
When Liu was arrested, prosecutors said he possessed about 318,000 unauthorized Microsoft product key codes. Those product key codes, were each worth about $250, and in total represented a loss to Microsoft of more than $79,000,000, according to prosecutors.
Liu also admitted that he sold 500 counterfeit Microsoft Office “Lenovo” product key cards to an undercover law enforcement agent for $35,000.
A sentencing date for Liu has not been set.