On December 10, 2015 three Chinese nationals (DAOFU ZHANG, 40; JIANG GUANGHOU YAN, also known as “Ben,” 33; and XIANFENG ZUO, 37) were arrested on federal criminal complaints in connection with a scheme to obtain and illegally export sophisticated semiconductors stolen from the U.S. Military.
ZHANG, YAN, and ZUO operated businesses in China and elsewhere that engage in the purchase and sale of electronic components, including integrated circuits. Federal law enforcement agents began investigating YAN and a Chinese company known as HK Potential
in 2012 for trafficking in counterfeit semiconductors. In October 2014 and in March 2015, YAN sold a total of 45 counterfeit Intel microprocessors to an undercover agent who had advised YAN that the components would be used on a U.S. Navy contract involving submarines.
A Massachusetts man was sentenced today to 37 months in prison for importing thousands of counterfeit integrated circuits (ICs) from China and Hong Kong and reselling them to U.S. customers, including contractors supplying them to the U.S. Navy for use in nuclear submarines.
Peter Picone pleaded guilty to Count Two of eight-count indictment charging him with conspiracy to intentionally traffic in counterfeit military goods in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 2320(a)(1). Despite acknowledging his participation in the conspiracy was inexcusable and an apology, Picone is now asking for a non-incarceration sentence of house arrest and probation and a downward departure based upon “Diminished Capacity”. It is Picone’s claim he suffers from a severe panic/anxiety disorder, deep depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) which made it virtually impossible for him to effectively process information or differentiate between reality and fiction.