Former scientist sentenced in software piracy case

A former scientist for a Kentucky-based government contractor involved in defense and law enforcement work has been sentenced to a year and day in federal prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy in an international software piracy scheme.

Wronald Best suggested at his sentencing Monday that he was unable to control his "insatiable" scientific curiosity, but the judge said scientific curiosity does not justify theft.

The judge nevertheless gave Best a reduced sentence, partly because there was no evidence that manufacturers of the pirated industrial software lost any sales.

Prosecutors said Best obtained more than 60 pirated software applications, worth more than $2.3 million, from Chinese and Russian sources, using the software projects that included Patriot missile components, military helicopters, and police traffic radar and alcohol breath test systems.

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