In one of the first ever extraditions for an intellectual property offense, the leader of one of the oldest and most renowned Internet software piracy groups was arraigned today in U.S. District Court, Assistant Attorney General Alice S. Fisher of the Criminal Division and U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg for the Eastern District of Virginia announced today. Hew Raymond Griffiths, 44, a British national living in Bateau Bay, Australia, appeared today in U.S. District Court in Alexandria, Va., before Magistrate Judge Barry R. Poretz. The defendant was extradited from Australia and is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and one count of criminal copyright infringement. If convicted on both counts, Griffiths could receive a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison and a $500,000 fine. Prior to his arrival in the United States, he had spent nearly three years incarcerated at a detention center in Australia while fighting his extradition in Australian court.
“Griffiths claimed to be beyond the reach of U.S. law, and today, we have proven otherwise,” said Assistant Attorney General Alice Fisher. “This extradition represents the Department of Justice’s commitment to protect intellectual property rights from those who violate our laws from the other side of the globe.”
“Our agents and prosecutors are working tirelessly to nab intellectual property thieves, even where their crimes transcend international borders,” said U.S. Attorney Chuck Rosenberg.
PR Newswire, http://www5.sys-con.com/read/339748.htm