NY man charged with selling $20m in gear to US military

A Brooklyn clothing and goods wholesaler has been charged with trafficking $20m-worth of counterfeit Chinese-made clothing and gear to the US military.

Ramin Kohanbash (49) has been charged with providing samples of actual military uniforms and other items to manufacturers in China to replicate and selling the knock-offs to the military and other government departments.

The alleged scam contravened the trademarks and brand names of multiple US-made products, and also broke US laws that stipulate that goods sold to the military and certain other federal organisations must be made in the US or other designated countries – a list which doesn’t include China.

The knock-offs included 200 military parkas that were sold for use by US Air Force personnel stationed in Afghanistan. The authentic garments use a fabric known as Multicam that incorporates specialized near-infrared (NIR) management technology designed to make the wearer more difficult to detect with equipment such as night-vision goggles. The fakes lacked the NIR tech.

According to court documents Kohanbash had shipped more than 1,000 of the parkas from China to a warehouse in New Jersey. Another product allegedly supplied by the accused and his associates was a line of hood intended for military and law enforcement personnel that was claimed to be “permanently flame resistant” but did not meet flame resistance standards.

Kohanbash is scheduled to appear before US Magistrate Judge Patricia Sullivan on June 12, for an initial appearance on the charges contained in the information. He faces up to five years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and up to 10 years and a fine of up to $250,000 for trafficking in counterfeit goods.

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