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500-pound defendant arraigned for Selling Fake Les Pauls


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500-pound defendant arraigned in parking lot

BY LUIS PEREZ | Newsday.com

May 2, 2008


It was a beautiful day for drive-through justice yesterday at the Suffolk County courthouse.


Under a cloudless sky, the court stenographer sat in a padded office chair. The defendant, Bernard Musumeci, 44, sat in the passenger seat of his gray Ford F-350 truck, the window down. And the judge, wearing no jacket over his black robe, marked the 11 a.m. court appearance amid a backdrop of pine trees.


"The record should reflect that this arraignment is taking place in the parking lot of the courthouse," said State Supreme Court Justice Robert W. Doyle, adding, "because of the severe weight problem this defendant has."


Although the arraignment was outdoors, Doyle prevented Newsday from photographing it.





In what legal observers in Suffolk say is quite possibly a first, Musumeci, who stands 6-foot-1 and weighs about 500 pounds, was arraigned in the employee parking lot after his attorney told Doyle it was impossible for his client to walk into the building and ride the elevator up to Doyle's third-floor courtroom.


Musumeci, of Centereach, pleaded not guilty. He turned himself in to the Suffolk County district attorney's office last fall after a two-month investigation. Prosecutors said he was selling knockoff Gibson Les Paul guitars through Oakdale Music, his Montauk Highway shop, and on eBay. Police said they confiscated 35 guitars at Musumeci's shop and home that, on close inspection, bore tiny, internal markings indicating they were made in China. The authentic versions of the guitars would have fetched $90,000, authorities said.


Musumeci sold dozens of the instruments for as little as $1,500 to musicians who thought they were the originals. He was charged with defrauding Nashville-based Gibson Guitar Corp., prosecutors said.


Musumeci faces charges of second-degree trademark counterfeiting and criminal simulation, both felonies. If convicted, he faces 1 1/3 to 4 years in prison on each count. He was released with no bail after the 10-minute proceeding.


In asking for the special circumstances, attorney John Fath, of Patchogue, gave the court a letter from Musumeci's doctor explaining he suffers from osteoarthritis, a degenerative joint disease.


Musumeci's new attorney, Victor Velazquez, of Riverhead, said that in 31 years in the courts this was his first parking-lot arraignment.


Doyle told Musumeci he would need to show further proof of his inability to enter the courtroom at his next appearance in June.


As birds chirped in the distance, Doyle added: "Obviously, we can't hold a trial in a parking lot."

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The authentic versions of the guitars would have fetched $90,000, authorities said.


I think they need to clarify that "Authentic Vintage Versions" would sell in the 6-figure range. It makes it sound as if contemporary authentic versions are price that high....


Anyhow, I hope all of those people who were defrauded by this lard-a$$ get their money back through a civil suit... Even if it means liquidating everything "tubby" owns do to so...

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AhhhhHahahhahaha .Ive been sorta keeping up with this story ' date='


And Denny , What are you doing up this time of the morning any way ???


I have an excuse , I'm single and just got home ,[/quote']


My wife just mentioned it this morning and I had to look it up.


I'm an early riser, I've never been able to sleep in. Even after those wild late night Gibson guitar jams that leave me looking like this:











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He needs to hire me, I'd get-em off of this one. Those Idiot ya-hoo's have turned his legal proceedings into a circus. As soon as they moved the defendent outdoors and put him on display, like a retarded defect of a human, for legal proceedings, any first year law student could of got-it tossed. But some how it sill goes on.


Besides they would have to prove that he made or had a hand in producing forgeries or that he knowingly passed these forgeries off to defraud. Not an easy task. They made a statement they needed close inspection to see that they were forgeries and killed any legal standing that they may have had.


He's a fat 500lb dude that I would show, just eats all the time, and does not fit-in anywhere, not even the courthouse door ways and everyone makes fun of him, and that does not even play the guitar and only knows 3 two finger bar chords and can only play a little of "smoke on the water" and he thought they were all real gibson's. He was only in possession of gibson guitars to sell, just to try and be kool and be accepted and liked by others, ya-know guys like everyone here on this form that are way too kool to ever be with anyone that's fat or ugly.


This is an easy legal win with an instant multi-million dollar countersuit. Remember boys and girls the way are system works. First the state say's your guilty, and If they do not violate any of your rights, then when it goes to trail, Its the jury's perception of your innocence or guilt, that convicts. It does not matter if your guilty or not. The jury's perception, Think about that. How many times has your fat a-- girlfriend asked you "Does this make my butt look bigger". Get one or two over-weight women on that panel of jurors and this guys right back out there with 5 doulble cheeseburgers in one hand and another store front full of guitars and a million richer.


They turned this into a "fat guy thing now" and it really does not matter what he has allegedly done or was doing.

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Its sad but I think Cudamax is right... The best the prosecutor could do is try to nail this dead beat insisting that there is no way his defendant could not have know they were forgeries... The price he was getting them at, the source he was getting them from, which obviously wasn't Gibson, point to a blatant crook... and I'm no lawyer...

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I mean really guys think about it. What the hell is gibson doing they have plants in china making their guitars. Just for example Many come here to a usa gibson site posting photos from a site in china where gibsons are made. They say gibson, many here even look at them, photos of them and don't know for sure.

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