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Guilty pleas in military sham

Men face about 2 1/2 years in prison for selling the Navy electronics fraudulently labeled as military-grade, prosecutors say.

March 17, 2010|By Joseph Serna

Two members of a Newport Beach family are scheduled to be sentenced to prison this summer after pleading guilty to selling counterfeit electronics to the military.

Mustafa Abdul Aljaff, 30, of Newport Coast, and Neil Felahy, 32, pleaded guilty in federal court in Washington on Jan. 13, as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors for buying counterfeit semiconductors and selling them to the Navy as military-grade components.

A third defendant, Neil’s wife, Marwah Felahy, 32, was also charged. As part of a plea agreement with Neil Felahy, authorities will drop all charges against Marwah, according to his plea agreement.

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Felahy faces up to three years in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. Aljaff could be sentenced up to two and a half years in prison as part of a plea agreement. Both men are scheduled to be sentenced July 21.

In March, June and July of last year, prosecutors said, the three imported counterfeit semiconductors from China that were fraudulently labeled as military-grade. Semiconductors are tiny integrated circuits used in everything from medical equipment to aircraft. Military-grade semiconductors are built to withstand violent, sustained vibrations and extreme temperatures.

A semiconductor that fails that can cause on-off switches to malfunction, ignite fires and put lives in danger, officials said.

The three sold more than $140,000 worth of the electronics to the military under several business names, including MVP Micro Inc., Red Hat Distributors and Becker Components Inc., prosecutors said.

All three are out on bail. The Felahys are planning to move to Hawaii at the end of the month, court documents show.


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