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CALIFORNIA | TECHNOLOGY | THE STATE

17 Charged in Largest U.S. Chip Robbery

June 03, 1997|Davan Maharaj

Seventeen people from California have been charged with the takeover robberies of two Southland computer firms, including the largest heist of computer chips in U.S. history, authorities said. Those charged are linked to "Asian organized crime syndicates" that have been pillaging California's high-tech computer firms, said Assistant U.S. Atty. Christopher D. Johnson. A federal grand jury indictment handed down Friday accuses the defendants of staging the May 16, 1995, robbery of Centon Electronics Inc. in Irvine, which reported losses of more than $10 million--the largest such robbery in the nation's history, according to the U.S. attorney's office. The indictment alleges that two weeks before the robbery, 11 of the defendants robbed Multi-Industry Technology of Cerritos of nearly $400,000 in computer chips.

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