Let’s face it: If you’re building counterfeit Cisco gear, it’s rather stupid to hand the stuff over to Cisco. Two alleged fraudsters in the Washington, D.C., area figured that out last week when the Feds charged them conspiracy to commit mail fraud and nine counts of mail fraud.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, two brilliant criminals — (Robert Kendrick Chambliss, 36, of Henrico, Va., and Iheanyi Frank Chinasa, 38, of Gaithersburg, Md. — built phony Cisco gear, then complained to Cisco that the gear didn’t work. They then attempted to exchange the phony gear (or components of that phony gear) for legitimate products, which they probably planned to resell to someone. According to the FBI, these two guys tricked Cisco into giving them $27 million worth of products in exchange for the crap they built out of parts they probably bought from eBay and Radio Shack.
I assume that Cisco doesn’t just throw defective products in the garbage when they fulfill an exchange. It’s obvious that Cisco would want to figure out why $27 million worth of equipment is defective. So Cisco would probably hand the junk over to some forensic engineers who can take Cisco gear apart and reassemble it again with their eyes closed. How hard would it be for them to figure out that these jokers had bilked the company? “Hmm, this isn’t one of our ASICs. What’s going on here?”
This is equivalent to printing phony $100 bills, then complaining to the Treasury you aren’t happy with the quality of the printed bills and trying to exchange them for the real thing.