When fakes can be very, very bad

When fakes can be very, very bad
The USS Missouri

Fake handbags or shoes can be a problem for companies who lose out on revenue from the counterfeits.

Submarine parts, however…

Peter Picone is a military-components distributor charged with sending fake semiconductors to the U.S. Naval Submarine Base in Groton, Connecticut, the home of the Navy’s nuclear submarine fleet.

The parts were labeled as coming from Xilinx, National Semiconductor, and Motorola, although they were actually counterfeits from Hong Kong or China.

In 2008, Mr. Picone sent an instant message:

"I have to buy China and risk fake parts to compete. … It’s my whole biz."

Some of the circuits he sold were scheduled to be installed on active-duty nuclear submarines, and it’s unclear if they were installed or not.

In 2011, the Senate Armed Services Committee looked into the dangers of fake components. At the time, some estimated that 15 percent of semiconductors bought by the Pentagon were counterfeit.

Feds: Counterfeit submarine parts shipped to Groton base, The Day, Connecticut>>
Photo from USS Missouri (SSN 780) Commissioning Photo Gallery, U.S. Navy>>

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