Saudi Man Gets 4 Years and 3 Months for Selling Counterfeit Computer Parts to U.S. Marines

logo_ciscoBy Allan Lengel

A Saudi citizen residing in Texas was hit with a prison sentence of 4 years and 3 months in Houston on Thursday for selling counterfeit computer parts to the military in Iraq that “could have put our men and woman in uniform at risk”, said U.S. Attorney Jose Angel Moreno.

Authorities said parts sold by the Saudi citizen Ehab Ali Ashoor, 49, were intended to be used by the U.S. Marine Corps for a computer network that transmitted troop movements, relayed intelligence and maintained the security at Al Taaddum, a Marine base just west of Fallujah in Iraq.

Ashoor was convicted in January after a three day trial. He was also ordered to pay $119,000 in restitution to the Cisco company, and he could be deported after his sentence, authorities said.

His company CDS Federal Inc. had been awarded a contract to supply 200 genuine Cisco Gigabit Interface Convertors to the Marine Corps.

But instead, he purchased 200 counterfeit parts from a Hong Kong vendor off eBay for $25 each for a total of $5,500 and asked the vendor to make sure they were in Cisco packaging.

The contract called for the military to pay $595 for each computer part for a total price of $119,000. But the counterfeit parts were intercepted by the Customs and Border Protection officers in Chicago before they could be delivered.

“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,” U.S. Attorney Moreno  said in a statement. ” Thanks to the efforts of Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers in Illinois, Ashoor did not succeed, “ said Moreno. “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.”

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