Man in Counterfeit Case Sentenced to Probation
A former Vass resident who pleaded guilty last week to charges of selling counterfeited brands of golf equipment on eBay says he has accepted his sentence and wants to move on with his life.
A judge sentenced Warren Fondrie to 10 consecutive sentences of six to eight months in prison, but the sentences were suspended for five years as a result of an agreement in exchange for his guilty plea. Fondrie was placed on probation. (The Pilot reported incorrectly in Sunday's edition that Fondrie received an active sentence, based on a misinterpretation of information from the district attorney's office.)
Fondrie will not have to serve any time in prison if he complies with all the terms of his probation. One is that he must pay restitution of $253,338 based on estimated gross sales exceeding $150,000 and including lost profits and other charges.
Evidence to support the plea showed that Fondrie peddled fake brands from Titleist, Eton, Ping Putters, Callaway Golf, Adidas TaylorMade, Nike, Lacoste and others, the state said.
Similar charges against his father, Donald Fondrie, were held over until the May term of court. His cases are on the May 11 Superior Court calendar.
Warren Fondrie said in a brief telephone interview Monday that he intends to comply with all the terms of his probation and will be paying the money as ordered by the court. He said he got involved after his father used his eBay account for sales. He said his dad had been told he could buy golf equipment in Asian markets and make money selling it in the states over eBay.
The golf balls and other items were virtually identical with official versions of the same products, Warren Fondrie said.
"You could hold two golf balls in your hand," he said. "You couldn't tell which was which."
Fondrie said he has accepted his status as a convicted felon and he is moving on with his life. He has moved from Vass to Swansboro and is continuing with other business ventures.
A third defendant, Pei-i Chou, is presently in the custody of immigration authorities and has the same May 11 court date as Donald Fondrie. According to Warren Fondrie, she overstayed her visa because her passport was taken after her arrest. She is expected to be deported back to Taiwan.
Fondrie said she volunteered for exclusion, and that upon deportation the state will drop charges against her.
The office of the Moore County District Attorney could not confirm anything about her volunteering for exclusion, and Strickland said the charges against Chou remain.
Contact John Chappell by e-mail at jchappell@ thepilot.com.
More like this story