A Florida man has been charged with trafficking over $1 billion in fraudulent Cisco gear, some of which malfunctioned and caused tens of thousands of dollars in damages to organizations' networks.
A federal indictment returned last week accused Onur Aksoy, 38, of importing counterfeit Cisco networking equipment from illicit suppliers in China and Hong Kong. He sold the hardware through 19 companies and 25 Amazon and eBay storefronts under the name Pro Networks, according to the indictment.
The counterfeit operation, which started in 2014, sold lower-end products labeled, documented and packaged as new, more expensive Cisco gear, the indictment said. The hardware, offered at a 60% to 80% discount, was sold to resellers, hospitals, schools, government agencies and the military.
Aksoy, who also went by the alias Dave Durden, used pirated Cisco software to bypass the company's automated license and hardware authentication checks, according to the indictment. The scheme included using a fake business in Bolivia to check the devices' serial numbers against those registered in Cisco's Smart Net warranty service program and avoid detection through accidental duplication.
The low-quality software and components used in the counterfeited goods caused various problems. Units would work for a while and then suddenly freeze or fail to power on. The malfunctioning devices sometimes caused tens of thousands of dollars in repairs to networks and IT operations.
Cisco sent Aksoy seven cease-and-desist letters between 2014 and 2019, according to the indictment. From 2014 to this year, customs officials seized 860 counterfeit devices valued at over $5 million.
In July 2021, federal agents seized on Aksoy's property 1,156 counterfeit products valued at more than $7 million, the indictment said. The entire operation dealt in fake gear with an estimated value of more than $1 billion. The scheme generated more than $100 million in revenue for Aksoy and unnamed co-conspirators, according to the indictment.
Aksoy was arrested in Miami on June 29. He faces one count of 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.
Victims of the counterfeit operation can notify the Justice Department by filling out a questionnaire and emailing it to [email protected]. The complete list of Pro Networks companies and storefronts is as follows:
|Pro Network Company
|State of Formation
|Pro Network LLC
|Netech Solutions LLC
|Target Network Solutions LLC
|Easy Network LLC
|ACE NETUS LLC (aka Ace Network)
|My Network Dealer LLC
|1701 Doral LLC
|Maytech Trading LLC
|NFD Trading LLC
|Kenet Solutions LLC
|Team Tech Global LLC
|Tenek Trading LLC
|The Network Gears LLC
|All Networking Solutions LLC (aka All Network)
|San Network LLC
|Pro Network US Inc.
|Jms Tek LLC
|Renewed Equipment LLC
|Pro Ship US LLC
|Pro Network Amazon Storefront
|Approx. Date of Earliest Activity
|Albus Trade Hub
|Get Better Trade
|NFD Trading LLC
|Palm Network Solutions
|SOS Tech Trade
|Pro Network eBay Storefront
|Approx. Date of Earliest Known Activity