A Florida-based CEO was charged with selling $1 billion worth of counterfeit Cisco equipment imported from China, according to the Department of Justice.
The Justice Department announced in a release on Friday that they arrested 38-year-old Onur Aksoy for allegedly running multiple stores that sold fraudulent Cisco hardware. The DOJ alleged that Aksoy imported the fake equipment from China and resold them to included hospitals, schools, government agencies, and the military under the company name "Pro Network" to make it appear legitimate.
According to a DOJ complaint filed in 2013, Aksoy bought counterfeit hardware at "95 to 98%" lower than authentic Cisco products. The counterfeit hardware malfunctioned, damaging the users' network and operations and costing them tens of thousands of dollars.
Aksoyn"allegedly ran at least 19 companies formed in New Jersey and Florida as well as at least 15 Amazon storefronts, at least 10 eBay storefronts, and multiple other entities," the
According to the DOJ statement, between 2014 and 2022, Customs and Border Protection seized 180 shipments of counterfeit Cisco devices being shipped to Pro Network. Under the alias of "Dave Durden," Aksoy falsely submitted paperwork to CBP to avoid investigation. In July 2021, federal agents obtained a warrant to search Aksoy's warehouse, where they seized 1,156 counterfeit Cisco hardware valued at over 7 million dollars.
"We are committed to maintaining the integrity and quality of Cisco products and services. Cisco is grateful to law enforcement and customs officials for their tremendous collaboration in this investigation and to the DOJ for bringing the perpetrator to justice," Cisco said in a statement to PC Mag.
According to the DOJ, Aksoy is charged with conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and to commit mail and wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and three counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods. Prosecutors have set up a website for anyone who believed they were a victim of Aksoy's companies.