A German court has sentenced a software dealer to nearly three years in prison for distributing Microsoft products with forged licences.

The dealer, a 42-year-old Turk, was arrested in June by German police for selling Microsoft products with fake licences. He had been held in custody until the court ruling, which ended with a sentence of two years, 11 months in prison.

After eight days of hearings, the district court in Bochum, Germany, found the Turkish dealer guilty of reselling 18,555 products with forged licences to other dealers who were unaware of the illegal activity. The court referred to the dealer as a "clever offender" who was driven by greed. He was not identified.

Microsoft estimates the loss of the forged licenses at €4 million, including the money paid by customers who acquired software they were unable to use.