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Director jailed after fraud inquiry

PUBLISHED: 20:00 07 April 2003 | UPDATED: 13:42 03 March 2010

ONE company director was jailed for 12 months and another electronically tagged for six, in a case closely linked to a Suffolk multi-million pound computer fraud investigation.

ONE company director was jailed for 12 months and another electronically tagged for six, in a case closely linked to a Suffolk multi-million pound computer fraud investigation.

A cross-country trading standards operation ended when the pair were found guilty on January 24 of four counts of breaching trade descriptions and trademark laws.

They were sentenced at Dorchester Crown Court on Friday .

Anthony Meyer, 69, of Sturminster Newton was given a six month curfew order where he will be electronically tagged and not able to leave his house between 7pm and 7am. Brian Duke, 43, of Leybourne Avenue, Bournemouth was given a 12 month prison sentence.

The case was brought by Dorset County Council's Trading Standards department, after undercover investigations by counterparts in Suffolk showed the Dorset businessmen were both buying and selling counterfeit software from a firm in Ipswich.

Trading Standards officers from Suffolk County Council travelled to Bournemouth to give evidence in court, of how the directors had dealt in software from the firm Computer Soft Software run by Ipswich businessman, Peter Murray Cowan.

Mr Murray Cowan is currently in custody in Germany awaiting extradition to Suffolk to face counterfeiting charges against him, brought by the County's Trading Standards department.

In September 2001, Mr Murray Cowan appeared at Ipswich Crown Court for 12 charges relating to possessing and trying to sell computer software bearing a logo identical to that of Microsoft. After refusing to enter pleas to the majority of the charges, Judge John Devaux entered not guilty pleas on his behalf and Mr Murray Cowan later wrote to the Evening Star to protest his innocence.

Welcoming the outcome of the Dorset case, Suffolk County Council's portfolio holder for public protection, Peter Monk said: "Today's result is another step in the extradition case against Mr Murray Cowan.

"Each new piece of the jigsaw helps build up a picture of what is believed to be a multi million pound computer software fraud, which stretches far beyond the boundaries of Suffolk. I'm pleased our officers were able to help Dorset and their evidence helped bring about a successful conviction."

The two trading standards officers from Suffolk County Council gave evidence at Bournemouth Crown Court on January 14 and 15. The case was later transferred to Dorchester.


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