Trade Resources Economy Peddling Counterfeit Components Have Done Their Business with Relative Impunity

Peddling Counterfeit Components Have Done Their Business with Relative Impunity

Those involved in peddling counterfeit components have done their business with relative impunity. But the successful prosecution of a perpetrator in the US may mark the beginning of some law and order in the rampant illegal counterfeit trade.

In what could serve as a legal precedent, a Massachusetts man has pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit military goods. He faces up to 46 months in prison when he will be sentenced to a federal penitentiary in August after confessing to selling counterfeit semiconductors to the US Naval Submarine Base in Connecticut.

Before pleading guilty, Peter Picone (40) faced up to 10 years in prison for trafficking in counterfeit goods and up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud charges. He faced an additional 20 years in prison on the chargeThe amount of electricity present upon the capacitor's plates. Also, the act of forcing of electrons onto the capacitor's plates. See CoulombA coulomb is the unit of electric charge. It is named after Charles-Augustin de Coulomb.1 coulomb is the amount of electric charge transported by a current of 1 ampere in 1 second. It can also be defined in terms of capacitance and voltage, where one coulomb is defined as one farad of capacitance times one volt of electric potential difference.. of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Picone’s modus operandi involved the all-too-familiar scheme of purchasing counterfeit semiconductors in China and then selling them in the US. He sold the counterfeit components to contractors from the US Department of Defense in Connecticut and Florida for use in nuclear submarines through two companies he owned called Tytronix Inc. and Epic International Electronics. When indicted, Picone was charged with traffic in counterfeit military goods, trafficking in counterfeit goods, conspiring to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiring to commit money laundering.

With obvious national security risks involved, federal prosecutors said they plan to make protecting the US’s defense-related electronics supply chain a priority. “The introduction of defective equipment into the military supply chain can result in product failure, property damage, and even serious bodily injury, including death,” Cheryl DiPrizio, a special agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service, said in a statement. “Some of these counterfeit devices can also be preprogrammed with malicious code and enable computer network intrusion.”

A new provision in the US penal code that involves a stiff sentence of up to 20 years of imprisonment for selling counterfeit military goods helped to further the prosecutors’ case against Picone. “[Those] selling counterfeit semiconductors, especially counterfeits intended for military use, are not simply facing a slap on the wrist, but a potentially very long jail sentence,” Dustin Todd, director, government affairs for the Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA), says in an email response.

The Picone case and the statutes prosecutors used to convict Picone remain tied to the military supply chain. But the case also serves as an example of what wronged parties can do who are victims of counterfeiting across the entire electronics component sector. Up until recently, legal recourse against counterfeiters has been limited. While plaintiffs have sought legal remedies in civil court in cases involving counterfeit electronic components, action taken by prosecutors on behalf of the people in criminal court serves as a way to crack down on counterfeiting in the industry. Other prosecutors will hopefully take note and bring to justice other counterfeiters who defraud customers and pose obvious threats to the industry.

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Laying Down The Law Against Counterfeiters