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Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Fake Guitars

Posted June 28, 2007

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— A local man has pleaded guilty to selling fake Gibson guitars and was placed on probation, authorities said.

Steven F. Sexton, 48, pleaded guilty to two counts of criminal use of a counterfeit trademark. Superior Court Judge Frank Lanier sentenced him to 45 days in jail, which was suspended to 18 months on unsupervised probation, fined him $250 and ordered him to pay $2,700 in restitution to his victims.

Sexton was charged in March following an investigation by the North Carolina Secretary of State Office’s Trademark Enforcement Section. Sexton had sold counterfeit Gibson Les Paul electric guitars to at least three people, including a 15-year-old Cary boy.

“In peddling these fakes, Mr. Sexton preyed on guitar enthusiasts who dream of owning an iconic brand such as the Gibson Les Paul,” Secretary of State Elaine Marshall said in a statement. “We are especially gratified that the victims in this case are going to be receiving restitution. I hope this sends a strong message that trademark crime is a serious offense in North Carolina and it does not pay.”


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  • kramerwidow23 Jun 29, 2007

    davidg, they HAVE been played. They are the originals from the 80's. One belonged to Mick Jagger. Nickelback recorded with one of mine. They are all in cases and get displayed and played every year at the Kramer Expo in Nashville, TN...Too much fun! Gary Kramer himself attends every year.

  • davidgnews Jun 29, 2007

    Wow, so Elaine Marshall is a Gibson afficionado, or did someone write that for her?

    kramerwidow - that's too funny ! 60? I hope those get played.

  • Jake Wildstar Jun 29, 2007

    Wow......anything for a buck.

  • kramerwidow23 Jun 29, 2007

    Kramer Guitars rule!!!! We have about 60 in our collection. My husband has spotted and reported a bunch of fake Kramers. Hope they catch 'em all and prosecute to the fullest!

  • nowon_yuno Jun 29, 2007

    meh, I got me a Charvel, remember those? The 80's ruled! I also have an 87 Les Paul, I used that for tuned downed heavier stuff now.

  • Rabid Wolf Jun 28, 2007

    I hope Nifong is playing one of these!!!!!!!!!!
    That's why he wants to stay one more day, going after him.

  • Sidekick Jun 28, 2007

    Elaine Marshall had to get in on this? I can't believe this went all the way to the sec. of state?

  • RUSH_2112 Jun 28, 2007

    I like Fenders better than Gibsons.

  • Irock Jun 28, 2007

    one should do their homework prior to buying...if its too good to be true, it probably is. I have a gibson les paul...theyre not cheap.

  • wolfmandan Jun 28, 2007

    ya reckon hes got any of them thar Banjo's?