The boss of Kingston-upon-Thames-based VAR Brooks Holdings has pleaded guilty to two counts of supplying counterfeit Microsoft software.
John Lowe was fined just under £5,000 earlier this month after an appearance at Kingston Crown Court. The case has been ongoing for more than three years.
In early 2001 Microsoft received complaints from VARs and businesses that the firm, headed by Lowe, was offering Microsoft products at an extremely low price.
Kingston-upon-Thames Trading Standards and the police carried out joint searches in June 2002, and this resulted in the seizure of counterfeit products. Lowe was arrested, but released on bail pending further enquiries.
However, a further complaint in September 2002 again resulted in counterfeit products being discovered, which suggested Lowe had dealt in counterfeit software after the execution of the warrants and his previous arrest.
He was later issued a summons for eight offences related to counterfeit software, ranging from October 2001 to September 2002, and pleaded guilty to two of the offences last month. Six other offences were dropped. Lowe was bailed until his final court appearance on 9 August.
Michael Donkin, IT manager at Glendale Facilities Management, a firm that almost bought counterfeit products from Lowe, said: "We are pleased Brooks Holdings has been successfully prosecuted. We could have ended up seriously out of pocket."
Chris Oldknow, an attorney in Microsoft's legal team, said: "Microsoft received dozens of complaints from concerned customers and partners. There are still resellers and brokers selling illegal products, so I encourage partners to report suspect offers."
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