Wholesaler who sold $20m of counterfeit military gear faces jail

A clothing wholesaler is facing more than three years in prison for selling $20m-worth of "unsafe" fake military clothing and gear.

Ramin Kohanbash (52) of Brooklyn, New York, was the leader of a conspiracy to supply tens of thousands of Chinese-made uniforms and other equipment to the US military that were passed off as genuine American-made products, according to the Department of Justice. He pleaded guilty to the charges in 2019.

Kohanbash has been sentenced to 40 months in federal prison and ordered to forfeit the proceeds that he obtained from the sale of the counterfeits, some of which ended up being used by members of the US Airforce.

He will also be required to make restitution to the individual companies victimized by his conduct, including a Rhode Island company that reported a loss of more than $639,000 in profits and significant damage to its relationships with long-standing military clients due to the distribution of counterfeit products

Some of these products lacked crucial safety features or failed to meet safety specifications, endangering the health and safety of the military personnel who wore them, says the DoJ.

Among the items that Kohanbash and others arranged to counterfeit were more than 13,000 military jackets of a type used by US Airforce personnel stationed in Afghanistan that 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 – along with almost 19,000 non-flame resistant hoods.

Kohanbash co-defendant Bernard Klein (41) was sentenced in April 2021 to 18 months of prison followed by three years of federal supervised release, and financial penalties of $415,000, while a third defendant – Terry Roe (49) – is scheduled for sentencing later this week after pleading guilty in 2020.

According to information provided to the court, Kohanbash worked collaboratively with Roe and Klein to provide samples of actual military uniforms and gear to manufacturers in China, including sample tags and labels that depicted trademarks of fifteen companies who make products for the military in the United States.

The Chinese manufacturers then counterfeited the products, tags, and trademarks. The counterfeit products were shipped to Kohanbash's New Jersey warehouse and sold to the US military and its suppliers, including supplier Dakota Outerwear where Roe was employed.

Civil settlements with Klein, Kohanbash, and Dakota Outerwear have previously recovered more than $2m.

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