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Ex-Calif. man convicted of Navy battery swindle

Apr. 17, 2014 - 08:59PM   |  
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LOS ANGELES — A former Southern California man who fled the U.S. to live on his yacht has been convicted of selling the U.S. military more than $2.6 million in cheap, knock-off batteries that were used in aircraft carriers and submarines.

Federal prosecutors say Didier (Did-ee-yay) De Nier was convicted Wednesday of conspiracy and wire fraud. His wife previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

De Nier was CEO of a company that sold the government 80,000 batteries that were used as emergency backup power for Navy vessels.

Authorities say De Nier and his workers removed “Made in China” markings and slapped counterfeit labels on the batteries indicating they came from approved manufacturers.

De Nier fled in 2012 and lived on his yacht in the Caribbean. He was arrested last fall in the Virgin Islands.

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