The owners of a Ninnekah, Okla., computer company have been charged with allegedly selling computers containing copyright-infringed software to school districts and city and county governments in southwestern Oklahoma, according to the office of state Attorney General Scott Pruitt.
Craig Computer owners Ray Terral Craig, Sr. and Ray Terral Craig, Jr., and shop manager Jay Paul Jerdee each face a felony charge of conspiracy to defraud the state of Oklahoma, the AG’s office reported. Each of the men could face a fine of $25,000 and up to 10 years in prison.
An investigation that began in 2009 and involved both the FBI and Microsoft, found evidence that Craig PC Sales & Service, which also conducted business under Craig Computer the name, defrauded the school districts and local governments through a scheme that involves building and selling computers that operate on copyright-infringed Microsoft software.
Numerous school districts across the state were found to have done business with Craig Computer. FBI and Microsoft investigators visited some schools and found computers which contained the copyright-infringed software as well as computer software with no certificates of authenticity. The investigation so far has found nearly two dozen schools that were defrauded.
Besides the school districts a number of other Craig Computer customers were examined. These included businesses, individuals, government offices and a church. Copyright-infringed Microsoft operating systems were found on these computers as well, the AG’s office said.
The criminal division at the U.S. Attorney’s office elected not to file criminal charges against Craig Computers, according to Aaron Cooper, communications director for AG Pruitt’s office. However, the case did proceed as a civil forfeiture case and a settlement was reached with Craig Computers, he said.
“The issue of whether or not the Craig’s engaged in criminal activity has not yet been determined as the matter has not been heard by a state or federal court,” Cooper added in an email to Insurance Journal.
Source: Oklahoma AG’s Office
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