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Electronics Production | January 15, 2010

MVP Micro boss jailed for trading of fake components

The U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia announced Wednesday that the owner of MVP Micro, Inc., has entered a guilty plea to the charge of trafficking in counterfeit goods and faces a sentence of as much as 46 to 57 months incarceration, depending on certain factual issues to be decided by the sentencing court.
The Semiconductor Industry Association (SIA) hailed the latest guilty plea in an ongoing prosecution of persons involved in the sale of counterfeit semiconductor products.

“We are very pleased that the U.S. Department of Justice has obtained another guilty plea in the case of MVP Micro, a criminal enterprise trafficking in counterfeit semiconductors,” said SIA President George Scalise. “Semiconductor counterfeiting is fraud, pure and simple. Given the potential for catastrophic injury and damage from failure of a counterfeit microchip, vigorous enforcement actions are necessary to deter this type of illegal activity.

Scalise said that sale of counterfeit semiconductor products poses a special threat to critical infrastructure, health and safety, and homeland and national security. “In this age of constant threats of terrorism, we can ill afford to have the reliability of critical systems put in jeopardy by the use of fake semiconductor devices,” Scalise continued.

“Counterfeiting of semiconductors is a growing problem. Electronic equipment manufacturers can combat counterfeiting by purchasing semiconductors only from trusted sources,” Scalise concluded.

SIA formed an Anticounterfeiting Task Force in 2006 to address the growing problem of semiconductor counterfeiting. The Task Force’s work with U.S. Customs and Border Protection led to the seizure of 1.6 million counterfeit semiconductors since November 2007. Task Force assistance with law enforcement officials to arrest suspected traffickers in counterfeit semiconductors opens a new front on the war against counterfeits. The MVP Micro action involved Immigration Customs Enforcement, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, and Internal Revenue Service as well as the Department of Justice.

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