Bootlegged Tax Software A Bust
Cincinnati resident Brandon C. Davis recently plead guilty to selling over one million dollars worth of illegally copied tax and finance software using a popular online auction website. The majority of the software sold belongs to software giants Quicken and TurboTax.
U.S. Attorney Carter Stewart, who oversees Ohio’s Southern District worked with a team of agents to catch Davis in the act. The team included IRS Criminal Investigations Special Agent Tracey E. Warren, US Postal Service Inspector Dugan Wong, and FBI Special Agent Mark Batts, along with others. The team announced that Davis had entered a guilty plea in front of Judge Weber, Seionor US District Judge. The plea included counts of mail fraud, two charges of filing a false tax returns, and one count of copyright infringement.
Court documents show that Davis bought the software either though online downloads or on CD, along with the label and packaging material that is protected by copyrights held by Quicken and TurboTax. Davis then copied the software numerous times without approval from either company and created fake packaging and labels for the CDs.
Davis then sold the software on auction site eBay, and mailed out the counterfeit product after receiving payment. The software was advertised as being genuine, although Davis sold the product for far less than it’s suggested retail value.
Charges for filing a false tax return were a result of Davis’ failure to report the income from sales of the counterfeit in tax years 2008 and 2009.
- TurboTax Voted the Best Online Tax Software (2010taxes.org)