SAN JOSE — The owner of a Santa Clara arcade-machine company and her associates have been charged with selling pirated video games — right under the nose of the Santa Clara company that actually owns the software.
“These are thefts of ideas and innovation in Silicon Valley, the home of ideas and innovation,” Santa Clara County prosecutor Erica Engin said.
The unauthorized video games included “Galaga,” “Tank Battalion,” and at least five iterations of “Pac-Man,” all of which are trademarked by Bandai Namco Entertainment, whose U.S. headquarters is also in Santa Clara. Engin said the games were contained in classic arcade machines, which sold for at least $1,495 apiece.
A Milpitas woman, her son, ex-husband, and three other associates face 14 counts each of felony counterfeiting, Engin said.
The defendants are Chun Chu Chang, 61, of Milpitas, who owned CoinOpStore company; her son Kingsley Stewart Chang, 29, of Milpitas; Bruce Michael Burton, 39, of Sunnyvale; Kung Teh Chang, 59, of Milpitas; Ryan Loesch, 45, of Folsom; and James Chian Chen, 67, of Arcadia. Kung Teh Chang allegedly lives in China and a warrant for his arrest remains outstanding.
If convicted, they face a maximum term of 11 years and eight months in prison, though it is rare for a judge to impose such long sentences.
Prosecutors have already seized and frozen their assets, which are subject to forfeiture. They include more than $1.2 million in cash, a 2012 Mercedes Benz, a 2015 BMW, and five residential properties in Sunnyvale, Milpitas, and Arcadia, Engin said.
Since 2014, the defendants allegedly sold numerous consoles, often online, each containing between 60 and 3,000 counterfeit games.
The defendants are set to enter a plea in San Jose on Aug. 21.
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