Last Friday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced that a Florida resident named Ron Aksoy has been arrested and charged for allegedly selling thousands of fraudulent and counterfeir Cisco products over a span of 12 years.
Aksoy, 38, also known as Dave Durden, is reported to have run at least 19 companies founded in New Jersey and Florida, approximately 10 eBay storefronts, at least 15 Amazon storefronts, and multiple other entities with an estimated combined retail value of over $1billion.
The charges against Aksoy include one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and to commit mail and wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud, three counts of mail fraud, and three counts of trafficking in counterfeit goods.
The court documents state that the fake companies imported tens of thousands of counterfeit Cisco networking devices from China and Hong Kong and resold them to customers in the US and overseas, whilst falsely representing them as new and genuine.
The fraudulent and counterfeit products suffered from many performance, safety, and functionality problems, sometimes costing users thousands of dollars. This is because the fraudulent models sold were typically older, lower-model products that had been modified and enhanced by Chinese counterfeits to appear to be genuine, newer Cisco devices.
As written in the indictment, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized roughly 180 shipments of counterfeit Cisco goods that were being shipped to Aksoy’s false company, Pro Network Entities, from China and Hong Kong between 2014 and 2022.
Aksoy would have falsely submitted official paperwork to CBP using the alias “Dave Durden.” The same name was used by Aksoy to communicate with Chinese co-conspirators.
The operation is alleged to have generated over $100 million in revenue, of which Aksoy held a share.
The DOJ has compiled a publicly available list of Pro Network companies, as well as eBay and Amazon shop names for potential victims to browse. Those who feel as though they may have fallen victim to Aksoy and/or a Pro Network company are advised to get in touch with authorities.