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Metro Digest

Local News in Brief : Tape Pirate Sentenced

February 23, 1988

A Van Nuys businessman was sentenced Monday to nine months in prison and a $10,000 fine for heading a counterfeit music cassette operation that officials said accounted for 10% of all pirated audio cassettes in the country.

Krikor Avakian, 42, who allegedly maintained a catalogue of more than 2,000 copyrighted music titles for illegal distribution, was also ordered to perform 500 hours of community service. He had pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to violate copyright laws and distribute counterfeit labels and tapes.

The operation cost the record industry an estimated $32 million in lost sales of legitimate cassettes, officials said.

Another defendant in the case, Roberto Fonseca, 28, of Los Angeles, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge A. Wallace Tashima to three months in prison and a $5,000 fine. Two other defendants are scheduled to be sentenced April 18.

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