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Man Convicted of Selling Phony Computer Modules

Huntington Beach resident faces up to a 20-year term for product with fake Compaq label.

October 29, 2003|David Haldane | Times Staff Writer

A Huntington Beach businessman was convicted of criminal trademark infringement Tuesday for selling thousands of counterfeit computer memory modules falsely labeled with Compaq stickers.

Tony Minh Nguyen, 37, faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $4 million when he is sentenced on Jan. 26, said Tom McConville, an assistant U.S. attorney who prosecuted him in federal court in Santa Ana.

"It shows that people who want to make a buck off the backs of innocent purchasers aren't going to succeed," McConville said.

Nguyen's attorney, Alex Kessell, did not return a call seeking comment.

Nguyen came to the attention of authorities, McConville said, when consumers began returning the failed memory modules to Compaq. An investigation by the FBI, he said, revealed that Nguyen directed sales and production for Dynasty Memory Inc., a Santa Ana company, where he routinely instructed employees to affix Compaq labels on memory modules bought cheaply from other sources.

Between August and December 2000, McConville said, as much as $7 million worth of the counterfeit modules were sold.

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