Man sentenced to 3 years in counterfeit sub parts case

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HARTFORD — A Massachusetts man has been sentenced to three years in prison for importing thousands of counterfeit electronic components from China and Hong Kong for use by American customers including builders of U.S. Navy nuclear submarines.

Peter Picone of Methuen, Massachusetts was sentenced Tuesday in federal court in Hartford to 37 months.

The 42-year-old Picone pleaded guilty in June 2014 to conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit military goods. In addition to the prison sentence of three years and one month the judge ordered him to pay $352,076 in restitution to 31 companies whose circuits he counterfeited.

Assistant Attorney General Leslie Caldwell said Picone sold counterfeit integrated circuits knowing that the parts were intended for use in nuclear submarines and that failure of the parts could have led to catastrophic consequences.

“Picone risked undermining our national security so that he could turn a profit,” said Assistant Attorney General Caldwell.  “He sold counterfeit integrated circuits knowing that the parts were intended for use in nuclear submarines by the U.S. Navy, and that malfunction or failure of the parts could have catastrophic consequences.”