A Florida man has been accused of selling counterfeit and faulty Cisco equipment imported from China to hospitals, schools and others.
Onur Aksoy, 38, of Miami, sold the fraudulent and counterfeit network equipment through at least 19 of his own businesses and 25 or more storefront accounts he set up on Amazon and eBay, US prosecutors said on Friday.
We were told that the CEO – for a fraction of the price of genuine Cisco systems – imported tens of thousands of older, lower-priced devices from China and Hong Kong and flogged them as new, genuine and more expensive Cisco machines. The retail value of this equipment on offer is said to be over a billion dollars, and Aksoy reportedly sold it all for at least $100 million in revenue, pocketing millions of dollars personally.
Some of the equipment was previously purchased and disposed of, they say. In each case, prosecutors say, Chinese counterfeiters disguised devices with fake Cisco software and modifications to internal components to appear as new, genuine Cisco products in order to circumvent the genuine manufacturer’s licensing checks.
These machines were allegedly boxed and sealed with fake Cisco labels and stickers, manuals, and other materials to keep everything looking pristine. These boxes were then imported into the United States from the Middle Kingdom by Aksoy’s Pro Network of Companies, who then allegedly sold the counterfeit equipment to hospitals, schools, government agencies, the military, and other customers.
And it is claimed these systems would just completely fail or malfunction, disrupting computer networks and operations and costing users tens of thousands of dollars to fix.
This scam is said to have been going on for years: US border officials intercepted about 180 of Aksoy’s shipments to the States between 2014 and 2022, and it is alleged he provided inspectors with forged papers under the alias Dave Durden. His co-conspirators in China began splitting their exports to Aksoy into smaller packages, among other things to avoid scrutiny, we’re told.
According to prosecutors, Cisco sent seven cease-and-desist letters between 2014 and 2019 to Aksoy, who allegedly responded through his lawyer with forged documents in an attempt to get the IT giant off his back. A Cisco spokesman said The registry on Friday:
We have been informed that in July 2021, Uncle Sam raided Aksoy’s warehouse and seized 1,156 counterfeit Cisco devices with a retail value of over $7 million.
Aksoy, aka Ron Aksoy, has been charged [indictment and complaint PDFs] and arrested at the end of June this year in a case of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and to commit mail and wire fraud; three cases of mail fraud; four cases of wire fraud; and three cases of trafficking in counterfeit goods.
If you’re concerned you might be one of his customers, New Jersey prosecutors have set up a website here with more information about Aksoy’s businesses and storefronts. ®
In other company news… Oracle has considered cutting costs by as much as $1 billion, which could result in thousands of layoffs through August, The Information reported on Friday.
It is said that employees in the USA and Europe are particularly affected. According to Chatter on Blind, employees at Oracle Advertising have already been laid off, and gradual, ongoing layoffs are expected across the engineering, infrastructure, and security teams.
A spokesman for Oracle was not immediately available for comment.