Awesome Games, an independent videogame seller in the U.K., has reached an out-of-court settlement with Bethesda over the sale of stolen copies of Fallout 3, which the retailer claimed it thought had been “imported.”

Awesome Games bought a number of copies of Fallout 3 from an “unknown seller,” according to an MCV report, despite the fact that the game hadn’t actually been released at the time the purchase was made. Owner Ahnes Qureshi claimed he believed the games were “imported stock” but Bethesda wasn’t buying it and hauled him off to court.

“We take such matters as the theft of our stock very seriously and will rigorously pursue any individual or company who perpetrates such acts,” said Sean Brennan of Bethesda. “While it may be tempting to buy games from unknown sources and to release games early, it’s just not worth the risk, as Mr. Qureshi will attest.”

Mr. Qureshi will indeed attest to that because, as the saying goes, he got his bell rung pretty good. The settlement requires him to pay damages to Bethesda and injunctions were issued to prevent his company from engaging in such behavior in the future.

“I have learned a lesson from this and I apologize unreservedly,” Qureshi said. “It has cost me dearly and I will certainly never repeat this mistake. I would advise other indies not to buy from unofficial sources or they may end up in the same trouble I did.”

Let this be a lesson to you too, kids: Crime, and/or being hugely stupid and/or willfully blind, does not pay.

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