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Two indicted for fake peripherals

Federal prosecutors in California charge two men with selling fake circuit boards.

A federal prosecutor is throwing the book at two people for allegedly selling fake peripheral devices.

The U.S. Attorney's Office in the Northern District of California yesterday unsealed an indictment charging Allan Chi-Chiang Chang and Peing Kan Schmidt with one count of conspiracy, each, to traffic in counterfeit goods--and four counts, each, of trafficking in counterfeit goods.

The charge: selling fake circuit boards for adding SCSI peripherals such as external disk drives.

A grand jury in San Jose, California, returned the five-count indictment on November 4. Chang and Schmidt were arrested in Los Angeles on Thursday and yesterday the office made the arrest public.

While counterfeiting is not uncommon, copycats usually focus on software, such as pirated versions of the Windows 95 and 98 operating system software. And when hardware is the target of chicanery, it is usually high-priced processors such as Intel chips that are the target of counterfeiting and other scams.

No word was available on why the defendants chose peripherals as their market of choice.

The indictment alleges that Chang and Schmidt, doing business as "Nitro Link Corporation," "Hornet Technology," and "Soyo Technical Marketing," "conspired to sell and sold counterfeit versions of [SCSI] host adapter boards patented by Adaptec," of Milpitas, California, according to a statement released today by the U.S. attorney's office.

The indictment charges that the defendants copied Adaptec's AHA-2940 series of SCSI host adapter boards using imitations of Adaptec trademarks.

Each of the trafficking counts carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison and $2 million. The conspiracy count carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Any sentence would be imposed by the court and subject to federal sentencing guidelines.