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Business

German Microsoft Dealer Convicted for Fraud

German software dealer Ralf Blasek was convicted of fraud and sentenced to five and a half years in jail Thursday for selling cheaper versions of Microsoft products at inflated prices. The Bochum state court said the fraud cost the US software giant €4.5 million ($5.5 million) in lost revenues. According to the Associated Press, the 38-year-old Blasek, a software dealer in the west German town of Willich, mislabeled educationally priced versions of software purchased in Belgium and sold them at a higher price to dealers in Bochum. Microsoft welcomed the sentence, which it said was the longest jail sentence ever in Germany for software-related fraud. Judge Wolfgang Mittrup said that Blasek had a "deeply criminal personality" and used the money from the piracy to live a luxurious life, buying around 40 pieces of property and several expensive cars.