Home Atlanta Press Releases 2014 Conspirators in Two Android Mobile Device App Piracy Groups Plead Guilty

Conspirators in Two Android Mobile Device App Piracy Groups Plead Guilty

U.S. Department of Justice April 15, 2014
  • Office of Public Affairs (202) 514-2007/TDD (202)514-1888

WASHINGTON—Members of two different piracy groups engaged in the illegal distribution of copies of copyrighted Android mobile device applications have pleaded guilty to their roles in separate schemes, each designed to distribute more than one million copies of copyrighted apps.

Acting Assistant Attorney General David A. O’Neil of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates of the Northern District of Georgia, and Special Agent in Charge J. Britt Johnson of the FBI’s Atlanta Field Office made the announcement.

Thomas Pace, 38, of Oregon City, Oregon, pleaded guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement and is scheduled for sentencing on July 9, 2104. According to the information filed on January 24, 2014, Pace and his fellow conspirators identified themselves as the Appbucket Group, and from August 2010 to August 2012, they conspired with other members of the Appbucket Group to reproduce and distribute more than one million copies of copyrighted Android mobile device apps, with a total retail value of over $700,000, through the Appbucket alternative online market without permission from the copyright owners of the apps. Two other defendants charged in the information—Thomas Dye and Appbucket Group leader Nicholas Narbone—pleaded guilty to the same charge in the information on March 10 and March 24, 2014, respectively.

Kody Jon Peterson, 22, of Clermont, Florida, pleaded guilty on April 14, 2014, to one count of conspiracy to commit criminal copyright infringement. According to the information filed on January 23, 2014, Peterson and his fellow conspirators identified themselves as the SnappzMarket Group and from May 2011 until August 2012, Peterson conspired with other members of the SnappzMarket Group to reproduce and distribute over one million copies of copyrighted Android mobile device apps, with a total retail value of over $1.7 million, through the SnappzMarket alternative online market without permission from the software developers and other copyright owners of the apps. A sentencing date has not yet been scheduled.

The investigation was conducted by the FBI. The prosecution is being handled by Assistant Deputy Chief for Litigation John H. Zacharia of the Criminal Division’s Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) and Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Bly of the Northern District of Georgia. Significant assistance was provided by the CCIPS Cybercrime Lab and the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs.

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