Two Kansas Companies Sentenced for Using Illegal Software

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WICHITA, KAN. –  In separate court cases, two Kansas-based companies have been sentenced for operating with pirated computer software. Lightning Aerospace, LLC, and Fly Manufacturing, LLC, had previously pleaded guilty to one count of Circumvention of Protected Copyrighted Work.



Dassault Systèmes owns the copyright to a software called Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application or CATIA. According to court documents, Lightning Aerospace and Fly Manufacturing admitted to intentionally acquiring unlicensed versions of CATIA and using the illegal software for years. During that time Lightning Aerospace and Fly Manufacturing didn’t purchase software from Dassault Systèmes or pay for licensing. 



“Defendants involved in these types of crimes like to claim them as victimless,” said Katherine Greer, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) in the Kansas City area of operations. 

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“The offenses in this case are aggravated by the fact that the accused used unlicensed software to design and test parts for aircraft-actions that could have grave consequences to consumers,” said Greer. “Not to mention the billions of dollars legitimate companies are losing each year to cybercriminals engaged in digital thefts, costs likely being passed along to customers.”


During sentencing, the court ordered Lightning Aerospace to pay $46,002 in restitution to Dassault Systèmes and pay approximately $28,000 in court fines. Fly Manufacturing was ordered to pay $67,272 in restitution and approximately $8,000 in fines. 

“Not only did these two businesses defraud a software company, they also gave themselves an unfair financial advantage over competitors who obeyed the law by paying for software and licensing fees,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Duston Slinkard. “Hopefully these convictions will deter other companies from engaging in intellectual property theft.” 

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This case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Kansas City.



Assistant U.S. Attorney Alan Metzger prosecuted the case.



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