Identity theft brings 51-month prison sentence

Identity theft brings 51-month prison sentence
Identity theft brings 51-month prison sentence 

By Paul Shukovsky
P-I reporter
March 17, 2008

A Seattle man was sentenced to 51 months in prison Monday for using 
file-sharing software to steal people's identities and buy merchandise 
under their names.

Calling Gregory Kopiloff a "highwayman in the virtual world," U.S. 
District Judge James Robart declined a defense recommendation for a 
two-year sentence.

"This sort of activity is not going to be tolerated," Robart said.

Kopiloff pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft, mail fraud and 
accessing a protected computer without authorization to further fraud.

He victimized more than 50 people and caused about $70,000 in losses, 
according to court records.

The peer-to-peer network Kopiloff exploited is the type that is used to 
swap music online.

That led Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn Warma to call his crimes "a 
particularly egregious form of identity theft, with Kopiloff invading 
the sanctity of people's homes to steal the most personal information 
from peoples' computers."

Kopiloff used software such as LimeWire to search the computers of 
members of the file-sharing network for federal income tax returns, 
student financial aid applications and credit reports, according to 

The stolen merchandise would be shipped to mailboxes around the Puget 
Sound region, then sold for about half its retail value.

Kopiloff apologized to the court Monday, saying, "I am truly sorry I've 
caused so much pain and suffering."

Robart rejected a plea for leniency from Kopiloff's attorney, Jennifer 
Wellman. The judge said Kopiloff admits to drug and gambling problems, 
"to which I would add a moral-compass problem."

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