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Feds: 2 conspired to sell counterfeit IGT slots
2 men charged in conspiracy to sell counterfeit IGT slot machines
Scott Sonner, Associated Press Writer
On Thursday June 11, 2009, 10:08 pm EDT
RENO, Nev. (AP) -- Federal prosecutors have charged two men with conspiring to sell counterfeit video slot machines bearing the name of Reno-based International Game Technology.
The two men include a 43-year-old Cuban national accused of selling the slots in Latvia, federal officials said Thursday.
A seven-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury in Las Vegas in April and unsealed Wednesday also accuses Rodolfo Rodriguez Cabrera and Henry Mantilla, 35, Cape Coral, Fla., of selling counterfeit IGT computer programs.
Cabrera was arrested Monday in Riga, Latvia, where he owned and operated a company named FE Electronics. He was being held in Latvia on Thursday as federal prosecutors consider a formal request for extradition.
Mantilla is scheduled to appear on a summons in federal court in Las Vegas on July 2 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert J. Johnston. Prosecutors said he owned and operated Southeast Gaming Inc. in Cape Coral.
The indictment accuses them of making unauthorized copies of IGT computer programs from August 2007 through April 2009. It said they placed counterfeit labels on them, installed them in IGT gambling machine cabinets and sold them through their respective companies -- all without the permission of IGT, the largest maker of slot machines in the world.
Officials for IGT did not immediately return telephone calls or e-mails seeking comment.
Each man was charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods, two counts of trafficking in counterfeit labels and two counts of criminal copyright infringement.
If convicted of all counts, each faces up to 45 years in prison and more than $5 million in fines. The indictment also contains 13 forfeiture allegations which could force them to return all the counterfeit items and forfeit up to $5 million in profits.
The case is being investigated by the FBI, according to a statement issued Thursday by U.S. Attorney Greg Brower of Nevada, FBI Special Agent Steven M. Martinez in Las Vegas and Lanny Breuer, assistant U.S. Attorney General in Washington.
The Central Criminal Police Department of the Latvian Ministry of Interior provided significant assistance in the case as did IGT, they said.