A Chinese national, Xiang Li, 36, of Chengdu, this week pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and wire fraud, after operating a Web site used to distribute pirated software valued at more than $100 million, which was uncovered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations.
Li will be sentenced on May 3 by U.S. District Court Judge Leonard P. Stark. He faces a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and three years of supervised release following his prison sentence.
According to statements made at the plea hearing and documents filed in court, HSI identified Li as the operator of www.Crack99.com, which was advertising thousands of pirated software titles at a fraction of their retail value. Software is “cracked” when its digital license files and access control features have been disabled or circumvented.