Man who tried to sell fake Cisco kit to US army jailed

A Saudi Arabian citizen living in the US was this week convicted of attempted to sell the counterfeit Cisco networking equipment to the country’s Department of Defence. He was sentenced to more than four years in prison and ordered to pay nearly $120,000 in damages to Cisco.

The fake Gigabit Interface Converters, reported to have originated in China, were to have been used by security and intelligence forces in Iraq.

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The conviction is one of many to have resulted from an ongoing investigation by the US Department of Justice, FBI and two other agencies. That investigation since 2005 resulted in 700 separate seizures, including about 94,000 pieces of fake Cisco equipment including network switches and routers, which the agencies say are highly prone to failure.

“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,” John Morton, assistant secretary of homeland security at the ICE. “They pose a triple threat to our nation by stealing from our economy, threatening US jobs and potentially putting the safety of our citizens at risk.”

In January, Chinese resident Yongcai Li was given a two-and-a-half year prison sentence and made to pay almost $800,000 in restitution to Cisco as part of the same operation.

Peter Done

Peter Done is managing director of Peninsula Business Services, the personnel and employment law consultancy he set up having already built a successful betting shop business.

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