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Charges Of Illegal Chinese Equipment Sales Brought By US Prosecutors Against New York Company

Charges Of Illegal Chinese Equipment Sales Brought By US Prosecutors Against New York Company
A New York company had illegally imported and sold surveillance and security equipment from China thereby putting at security risks the United States government and private customers, accused US federal prosecutors in a criminal case filed against the American company.
The Commack, New York, firm Aventura Technologies Inc, and seven current and former employees have been named in the charges filed in the in the federal court in Brooklyn and the content of the charges were made public in Thursday. Jack Cabasso, the man accused of leading the scheme and five other accused in the case have been arrested earlier over the charges. 
Following a brief court appearance, Cabasso was ordered to be jailed without bail, while the court released the other five, including Cabasso’s wife, Frances Cabasso.
There were no comments available on the issue by Aventura and lawyers for the Cabassos.
In a scheme that ran from 2006 until this month, the company had allegedly informed the customers that the products that it sells were made in the United States when in reality the company had been importing the products, primarily from China, which has been held as falsification by prosecutors. The charges against the accused further said that known cyber security risks were carried by some of those products that were imported.
Government agencies of the US - including the Army, Navy and Air Force, are the largest customers of the company. Prosecutors also said that private companies were also on the client list of the company which has earned profits of about $88 million since 2010.
The website of the company shows that it was established in 1999 and currently described itself as a “true ‘single-source’ manufacturer” the offers a range of security hardware, software and peripheral products to the US government, military and private customers.
False “Made in the U.S.A.” labels already affixed or displayed on packaging of products that were imported from China were sometimes sold in the market by Aventura, claimed the complaint.
Following the discovery of an image of a Chinese security service badge in software for one device of the company by an Air Force security unit, the alleged scheme is being investigated by the US government, said US Attorney Richard Donoghue.
Using the US General Services Administration contracts, by the end of 2018, the company had sold $20.7 million of security equipment to the US government, prosecutors said. The court papers also show that prosecutors have brought in charges of misrepresenting itself as a “woman-owned small business” against Aventura, which the prosecutors claimed, was done so that it could get undue advantage to win government contracts that are reserved for such businesses. For this purpose, the company had falsely listed Cabasso’s wife, Frances, as the owner and chief executive of the company.
Prosecutors have also claimed in the charges that the company knew about the illegal imports and have referred to the internal communication of the company in the charges.

Christopher J. Mitchell

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