Texas business owner sentenced in counterfeit circuit breaker scheme

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A 63-year-old Austin, Texas, man was sentenced this week in Jacksonville to a year and a day in federal prison for mail fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods and services.

The court also ordered Elod Tamas "Nick" Toldy to pay $59,653.97 in restitution to the victims of the offenses.

According to court documents, from 2008 until April 2010, Toldy used his electronics firm Pioneer Breaker and Control Supply in Austin to market counterfeit circuit breakers through eBay. Undercover agents from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations purchased numerous counterfeit circuit breakers from Toldy bearing the names "Zinsco" and "Stab-lok." "Zinsco" is a trademark held by Connecticut Electric Inc. "Stab-lok" is a registered trademark held by American Circuit Breaker Corporation.

On April 21, 2010, HSI agents executed a federal search warrant at Pioneer Breaker and Control Supply and seized more than 20,000 counterfeit electronic products. A subsequent search warrant executed in Laredo, Texas, resulted in the seizure of an additional 77,000 counterfeit circuit breakers. Agents also seized 60,000 counterfeit labels bearing the trademark for United Laboratories. The manufacturer's suggested retail price for the legitimate products that were the subject of the counterfeiting scheme was more than $4.7 million.

"Trafficking in counterfeit goods is a serious problem. In this particular case, an individual was marketing counterfeit circuit breakers to unsuspecting consumers, which poses significant safety implications," said Sue McCormick, special agent in charge of Homeland Security Investigations Tampa, which oversees the agency's Jacksonville office. "In light of the holiday shopping season being right around the corner, I urge consumers to protect themselves. Buy from legitimate retailers. Otherwise, you may put your health and safety at risk."

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