FBI nails $143m fake Cisco hardware scam

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FBI nails $143m fake Cisco hardware scam

Another success in the war on rebadging.

The FBI has announced that it has wrapped up an investigation into fake Cisco networking hardware that that resulted in 30 felony convictions and the recovery of US$143m in equipment.

The investigation was into Chinese computer networking hardware that was being rebadged as Cisco equipment. To date the FBI and Customs have seized more than 94,000 counterfeit Cisco network components and labels.

As part of the investigation Ehab Ashoor, 49, a Saudi Citizen was sentenced in the Southern District of Texas to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay US$119,400 in restitution to Cisco Systems. He purchased counterfeit Cisco Gigabit Interface Converters (GBICs) from a vendor in China to sell to the US Department of Defense for the use of the US Marine Corps personnel operating in Iraq.

“These cases involve greedy businessmen hocking counterfeit and substandard hardware to any buyer - whether it could affect the health and safety of others in a hospital setting or the security of our troops on the battlefield,” said John Morton, assistant secretary of Homeland Security for Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“They pose a triple threat to our nation by stealing from our economy, threatening U.S. jobs and potentially putting the safety of our citizens at risk.”

The bulk of the counterfeit hardware is manufactured in China and rebadged the FBI has found. The FBI's continuing operation against this type of fraud has been dubbed Operation Network Raider.

“Operation Network Raider is an outstanding example of cooperation between CBP and its law enforcement partners to combat counterfeiting that threatens our economy,” said US Customs and Border Protection commissioner Alan Bersin.

“Protecting businesses against these threats is a top priority for CBP, and we are committed to continuing our work with law enforcement and the private sector to ensure the safety and security of the American people.”

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