Counterfeit Cisco gear ended up in US navy bases, utilized in fight operations

Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose, California, US, on Monday, Aug. 14, 2023.
Enlarge / Cisco Systems headquarters in San Jose, California.

A Florida resident was sentenced to 78 months for working a counterfeit rip-off that generated $100 million in income from faux networking gear and put the US navy’s safety in danger, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) introduced Thursday.

Onur Aksoy, aka Ron Aksoy and Dave Durden, pleaded responsible on June 5, 2023, to 2 counts of an indictment charging him with conspiring with others to visitors in counterfeit items, to commit mail fraud, and to commit wire fraud. His sentence, handed down on May 1, additionally consists of an order to pay $100 million in restitution to Cisco, a $40,000 superb, and three years of supervised launch. Aksoy may also must pay his victims a sum {that a} court docket will decide at an unspecified future date, the DOJ stated.

According to the indictment [PDF], Aksoy started plotting the rip-off round August 2013, and the operation ran till no less than April 2022. Aksoy used no less than 19 corporations and about 15 Amazon storefronts, 10 eBay ones, and direct gross sales—recognized collectively as Pro Network Entities—to promote tens of hundreds of laptop networking gadgets. He imported the merchandise from China and Hong Kong and used faux Cisco packaging, labels, and paperwork to promote them as new and actual. Legitimate variations of the merchandise would’ve offered for over $1 billion, per the indictment.

The DOJ’s announcement this week stated the gadgets had an estimated retail worth of “a whole lot of hundreds of thousands of {dollars}” and that Aksoy personally acquired hundreds of thousands of {dollars}.

Fake Cisco tech utilized in Air Force, Army, and Navy functions

The US navy used gear bought from Aksoy’s scheme, which jeopardized delicate functions, together with assist platforms for US fighter jets and different varieties of navy plane, per authorities officers.

In an announcement this week, Bryan Denny, particular agent answerable for the US Department of Defense (DoD) Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service within the Western Field Office, stated that Aksoy “knowingly defrauded the Department of Defense by introducing counterfeit merchandise into its provide chain that routinely failed or didn’t work in any respect.” He added:

In doing so, he offered counterfeit Cisco merchandise to the DoD that have been discovered on quite a few navy bases and in numerous techniques, together with however not restricted to US Air Force F-15 and US Navy P-8 plane flight simulators.

The DOJ’s announcement stated that Aksoy’s counterfeit gadgets ended up “utilized in extremely delicate navy and governmental functions—together with categorised data techniques—some involving fight and non-combat operations of the US Navy, US Air Force, and US Army, together with platforms supporting the F-15, F-18, and F-22 fighter jets, AH-64 Apache assault helicopter, P-8 maritime patrol plane, and B-52 Stratofortress bomber plane.”

Devices bought by means of the rip-off additionally wound up in hospitals and colleges, the announcement stated.

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