A Swiss bank account containing $14.8 million and belonging to a man formerly of Mountain View who is now a fugitive was seized by federal immigration officials. Authorities accuse Shaileskumar Jain, 41, also known as Sam Jain, of selling counterfeit security software over the Internet.
Jain, 41, is charged in federal court in San Jose with fraudulently gaining millions of dollars from sales of counterfeit copies of anti-virus programs made by Symantec Corp. of Cupertino.
U.S. District Judge Ronald Whyte declared him a fugitive after he failed to show up for two court hearings in January 2009.
Jain is accused in a 2008 indictment of 31 counts of fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods in 2003. The indictment alleges that he took in a total of $13.5 million by selling counterfeit software through several Internet websites.
Jain allegedly recruited customers through a combination of email spamming and pop-up advertising that sent viewers to his websites.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations agency announced today that the $14.8 million was seized in a related forfeiture action.
The agency said the forfeiture was completed May 31 after the Swiss government transferred the money to the U.S. Treasury in compliance with a seizure warrant issued in federal court in New York.
Joseph Vincent, assistant special agent in charge of the agency’s San Jose office, said the amount seized includes the $13.5 million cited in the indictment. Authorities are awaiting an accounting from the Swiss government as to the source of the remaining $1.3 million taken from the Swiss account, he said.
ICE Director John Morton, in a statement from his Washington, D.C., office, said authorities hope some of Jain’s “ill-gotten gains will soon go to compensate the legitimate software maker that lost millions as a result of this scheme.”
In the meantime, he said, “We’re continuing our efforts to locate this fugitive so he can be brought to justice for his crimes.”
Vincent said investigators are following up on information indicating Jain may have fled to Ukraine.
Anyone with information about Jain’s whereabouts is urged to contact ICE’s 24-hour tip line at (866) DHS-2ICE.
Jain’s defense attorney in the criminal case, Ted Cassman, of Berkeley, declined to comment on the forfeiture.
Vincent said, “People need to realize that the sale and purchase of counterfeit goods is not a victimless crime.”
“Commercial piracy and product counterfeiting undermine the U.S. economy, rob Americans of jobs, stifle American innovation and promote other types of crime,” he said.