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Xbox pirate pegged for the slammer

US District Court hands eight-month sentence to Pandora's Cube employee for "Super Xboxes."


31-year-old Hitesh Patel was an employee of Pandora's Cube, a game retailer in the Washington, DC area. He managed one of the three local stores and served as the technician for all three. The stores sell current-gen consoles and games, as well as anime and hentai DVDs.

However, Patel also sold another product on the side: Super Xboxes. The modified consoles, which were displayed in plain view, ran customers $500 and featured larger hard drives and the ability to play illegally copied games. Many of the units already came with several games preloaded.

Patel pled guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit felony copyright infringement and to violating the Digital Millennium Copyright Act. For his crimes, Patel will serve eight months--four in jail and four in house arrest. After eight months, he'll be subject to two years of probation.

"We are grateful for the work of US law enforcement and prosecutors for bringing this defendant to justice," said Douglas Lowenstein, president of the Entertainment Software Association, the trade association representing US computer and video game publishers. "Sentences of this magnitude send a strong message to the pirate community that intellectual property theft is a serious crime with serious consequences."

The illegal units were discovered in a raid conducted December 1 by federal authorities. Three more Pandora's Cube employees are up for sentencing next month.

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