Local News

Man Pleads Guilty to Selling Fake Guitars

Posted June 28, 2007 1:05 p.m. EDT

— 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.”