Local News

Youth's Guitar Lesson: If It's Too Good to Be True...

Posted March 22, 2007

— A Cary youth is going into his 17th year waiting to find out if he’ll get $1,000 back for a fake guitar he bought or a life lesson in “buyer beware.”

Jonathan Jakubowski paid $1,000 for what was billed as a Les Paul-model Gibson electric guitar. That was a bargain because they usually sell for three times that much.

“My mom, she saw the ad for the guitar in the paper,” Jakubowski said Thursday.

After he had paid Steven Sexton of Lillington and had his guitar, however, he started doing some Internet research on Les Pauls, named for the famous guitar designer.

“The plastic on the back wasn't right. This nut right here was made wrong,” Jakubowski said, though he had to point to parts on the Fender Stratocaster he had been playing and that he is playing again now. The secretary of state’s office has his not-really-a-Les-Paul guitar as evidence.

Investigators arrested Sexton, 48, last week. He faces two felony counts of criminal use of a counterfeit trademark, following an investigation by the North Carolina Secretary of State's Trademark Enforcement Section. He has a court date next month.

The state seized five guitars when agents arrested Sexton, and Jakubowski’s and another customer’s are part of the evidence, too.

“I say, if somebody can make it, somebody else can fake it,” Secretary of State Elaine Marshall said. She added that “a lot of fakes in this world come from countries with incredibly cheap labor.”

In the case of the fake Les Paul guitars, that was China.

Jonathan turned 16 on Thursday, and he is both older and wiser than he was when he bought the guitar for which he had saved.

“If I get my money back, then cool. If not, life lesson learned,” he said.


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  • futbalfantic Mar 24, 2007

    “If I get my money back, then cool. If not, life lesson learned,” he said.
    Looks like another cary kid that doesn't know the value of a dollar

  • Brain-Dead Religious Freak Mar 24, 2007

    I will pray for the poor reporter, photographer, and web editor who had to waste precious minutes of their lives working on this pointless "news" story! Surely this is not how GOD intended them to spend their lives! This young boy has learned a valuable lesson, nonetheless: if you whine loudly enough, you will get on the news! God bless!

  • Just Once Mar 23, 2007

    $600 for a PS3, $350 for a baseball bat.$60 for video game? Yeah - $3000 for a collectors guitar sounds reasonable to me. The kid is going in the right direction! Sorry this scum got you. Good luck and I hope you get your money back.

  • Lightfoot Mar 23, 2007

    A 15 year old, paying a THOUSAND dollars for a guitar? Times, they are a'changing.

  • narck9 Mar 22, 2007

    Learn to play the blues kid. Life sucks and you got a raw deal. Hope you get your money back.

  • For the U.S.A. Mar 22, 2007

    This is not the first time Mr. Sexton has been in trouble with the law. Maybe this time they will do something with him.

  • Ripcord Mar 22, 2007

    Jonathan... Don't worry kid... By the time a judge gets done with the booger eating clown that ripped you off you'll have enough cash for a Les Paul Custom. Be patient and practice everyday. Learn some Freddie King (especially the Shelter Years recordings!!!) and the girls will be all over you.

    Mail me is you need anything.

  • lazarus33 Mar 22, 2007

    Jonathan's a good friend of mine and a good kid. I'm glad they took the steps neccesary to ensure this guy won't continue to rip people off. You'll get that Les Paul soon, man - and you still rock your Strat in the meantime! :)

  • browneyez27893 Mar 22, 2007

    When I was young, we were told that if something sounds to good to be true, then usually it is to good to be true. Anytime you go to make a purchase of that amount or more, have it checked out first to make sure it is the real thing. Better yet, continue to save your money and go straight to the source and get the real thing.As for this scumbag Sexton, I hope they put you in a prison cell the size of one of your fake guitar bags. It takes a low down dirty dog to cheat people like that.

  • danno50 Mar 22, 2007

    Jonathan. I have a 1977 Les Paul(NOT FOR SALE)and 7 other guitars. Allways buy either from a reputable dealer or someone you can check on.