Saudi citizen sentenced for selling counterfeit computer parts to the U.S. Marine CorpMay 7th, 2010 - 4:40 am ICT by BNO News
HOUSTON, TEXAS (BNO NEWS) – A Saudi citizen was sentenced in Texas for selling counterfeit computer parts to the U.S. Marine Corps, prosecutors said Thursday.
Ehab Ali Ashoor, 49, a Saudi citizen residing in Sugar Land, Texas, purchased and sold counterfeit Cisco Gigabit Interface Converters (GBICs) from an online vendor in China in an attempt to satisfy a contract he had with the United States Marine Corps in Iraq to deliver genuine Cisco GBICs.
A contract between Ashoor’s company, CDS Federal Inc., and the U.S. Marine Corps was agreed, in which 200 Cisco GBICs were to be supplied by Ashoor for U.S. military use in their computer network at the Marine Base in Al Taqaddum, Iraq, located approximately 65 kilometers west of Fallujah. The network for which the GBICs were intended is used to transmit troop movements, relay intelligence and maintain the security of the base at Al Taqaddum.
The contract clearly stated that the GBICs had to be genuine Cisco products and not an imitation brand that claimed the same specifications, cautioning that, “Not only is this a quality issue it is a possible security issue.”
However, Ashoor purchased 200 GBICs from a Hong Kong vendor off eBay for approximately $25 each, stipulating that he wanted the GBICs to be in Cisco packaging. In addition, Ashoor was to be paid $595 per GBIC for a total contract price of $119,000, but the price Ashoor paid for the counterfeit GBICs was less than 5% of the market price for genuine Cisco GBICs. These transactions would have obtained Ashoor a profit of more than $113,000, or 2,000%, as he paid $5,500 for the 200 counterfeit Chinese Cisco GBICs.
“Ashoor’s attempt to fulfill his contractual obligations to the U.S. Marine Corps through the use of counterfeit Cisco computer parts could have placed our men and women in uniform at risk had he been able to successfully deliver those counterfeit goods. Thanks to the efforts of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Illinois, Ashoor did not succeed,” U.S. Attorney José Angel Moreno said.
“My office and our law enforcement partners within the Department of Justice and the Department of Homeland Security will continue to aggressively investigate and prosecute those attempting to perpetrate a fraud upon our troops,” he added.
Ashoor was convicted in January and was sentenced to 51 months in prison. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $119,400 to Cisco Systems Inc., as he is also subject to deportation from the United States upon completion of his prison sentence.
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