Chinese man sentenced to U.S. prison for $100 million in cyberthefts

June 12, 2013 at 2:45 PM
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WILMINGTON, Del., June 12 (UPI) -- A Chinese man will spend 12 years in prison for the cybertheft of more than $100 million in sensitive software and confidential data, federal officials say.

Xiang Li, 36, was arrested in Saipan in June 2011 and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and criminal copyright infringement, the Justice Department said in a statement released Tuesday in Wilmington, Del.

Investigators with the Department of Homeland Security found a number of websites run by Xiang in 2009 that offered thousands of pirated commercial software programs as well as industrial-grade software in which copy controls had been circumvented.

Statements made at the sentencing hearing and in court documents indicated Xiang distributed more than $100 in software owned by about 200 American software manufacturers, as well as 20 gigabytes of confidential and proprietary data from the server of a "cleared" defense contractor.

The software was sold to embargoed Middle East countries as well as federal government employees and U.S. contractors with security clearances, the government said.

Xiang, a resident of Chengdu, China, was arrested after undercover agents who had purchased some of his pirated software lured him to Saipan to deliver more stolen intellectual property, officials said.

The investigation found Xiang was part of a larger Chinese-based cybercrime organization.

He has been detained in Delaware since the arrest. Xiang will be deported to China after completing his prison sentence.

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