The Channel logo

News

By | John Oates 3rd May 2005 15:15

Silicon Valley computer thieves sentenced

Operation Matrix nets nine

Operation Matrix, which uncovered $480m in stolen hardware and software, is ending this week with the sentencing of the final two defendants. In all nine people have been imprisoned as a result of the huge undercover operation which ran from 1999.

The FBI worked with local law officers to recover the property and make arrests. Undercover agents posed as brokers to get inside four separate criminal networks specialising in IT equipment in Silicon Valley. Many companies mixed stolen equipment and pirated software with legitimate dealing.

Mark Barfield, FBI case agent, told Mercury News: “We found a number of companies that would mix their above-ground legitimate business with grey market or even in the black market. When times are tough, they’d blend it toward stolen goods.”

The final two defendants, William Liao, San Jose and Jackson Yu of Fremont, were sentenced to 12 and 18 months. They ran firms called Atra Technology and AG Data.The other seven received sentences of between one and three years.

Scott Frewing, an assistant DA who worked on the case, told Mercury News the case would have a chilling effect on black market dealing. He said those convicted were “the hubs of the wheels of commerce in the black market.”®

Related stories

Thieves raid BT exchange
Students fall for potato PC scam
Possessions Reunited

alert Send corrections

Opinion

Tim Worstall

Or why the reversal of globalisation ain't gonna 'appen
The full Spanglish breakfast: mealy pudding, bacon, black pudding, sausages, fried egg, toast
Blood image

Trevor Pott

Can the storage giant overcome a lack of necessary leadership?

Chris Mellor

Why overlapping kit from a merger equals a disaster in waiting

Features

No, silly... he was the fall guy for years of Finnish folly
Fraud image
Frodo and the Ring
Microsoft's strategy is to make Store apps popular. Good luck with that