Supplier pleads guilty in $20m fake military clothing case

A wholesaler from New York has pleaded guilty to charges that he trafficked $20m-worth of counterfeit Chinese-made clothing and gear to the US military.

Brooklyn-based Ramin Kohanbash (49) admitted charges that he provided samples of military uniforms and other items to manufacturers in China to replicate and selling the knock-offs to the military and other government departments.

He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods, according to US attorney for Rhode Island Aaron Weisman.

Among the items that Kohanbash and others arranged to counterfeit were 200 military parkas of a type used by US Air Force personnel stationed in Afghanistan.

The parkas were falsely represented to be genuine Multicam, a fabric which uses specialised near-infrared management technology designed to make the wearer more difficult to detect with equipment such as night-vision goggles.

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.

“Our men and women in uniform confront danger every day to defend this nation and its values,” said US Attorney for Rhode Island, Aaron Weisman.

“The uniforms they wear and the gear they carry are meant to protect them as they carry out their mission, not to put them in harm’s way. This case should serve notice that suppliers who do business with the military must comply with the law, or they will be held to account.”

Kohanbash is scheduled to be sentenced by on January 17, 2020. 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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