Wholesaler took $20 million from the U.S. military for new uniforms, gave it Chinese knockoffs
The U.S. military was duped into buying over $20 million worth of fake uniform and equipment made in China, and now a Brooklyn wholesaler is paying the price.
According to a release by the Department of Justice, Ramin Kohanbash provided samples of actual military uniforms and gear to manufacturers in China to replicate, in order to have knock-offs made for sale to the U.S. military.
After the fakes were made in China, the goods were shipped and sold as planned, costing the U.S. military a pretty penny for inferior goods.
The procurement violated the Berry Amendment and Trade Agreements Act, which mandated that goods be made in the U.S. and a select number of allied countries, with China obviously not on that list.
“Among other items Kohanbash and his co-conspirators arranged to counterfeit, were military parkas used by U.S. Air Force personnel stationed in Afghanistan,” the statement read. “These parkas are made with a fabric known as Multicam®, which incorporates specialized near-infrared (“NIR”) management technology designed to make the wearer more difficult to detect with equipment such as night-vision goggles. According to the information, two hundred of these counterfeit Multicam® parkas, lacking the critical NIR management technology, were sold to a U.S. Air Force Base Supply Center.”
The filing of charges were announced by the United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Aaron L. Weisman; Special Agent-in-Charge Leigh-Alistair Barzey, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Luis A. Hernandez, General Services Administration Office of Inspector General, New England Regional Investigations Office; Resident Agent in Charge Michael D. Conner, Boston Fraud Resident Agency, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; Jason T. Hein, Special Agent in Charge, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Office of Procurement Fraud Investigation, Detachment; and Homeland Security Investigations Newark, NJ, Special Agent in Charge Brian A. Michael.
Kohanbash is slated to appear before a U.S. Magistrate in June and faces conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods. If convicted on both charges, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
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