Chinese man gets jail term over fake Cisco, HP and Intel goods

A man has been sentenced to prison in the US for his role in the sale of counterfeit computer-networking equipment.

40-year-old Ruiyang Li of Beijing, China, was sentenced to four and a half years in the trademark violation case after pleading guilty to trafficking in counterfeit goods. Li’s activities could also lead to an order for restitution to be made to the victims of the scam.

Prosecutors say Li – from at least 2007 until mid-2017 – directed the shipment of fake computer equipment that infringed trademarks held by Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard and Intel to Texas. Counterfeit items were sold to a Houston-area retailer and to undercover officers, with Li making the transactions using several business entities.

“Li also used various means to conceal his unlawful conduct, including by sending and receiving payments using accounts that did not appear connected, at least publicly, to companies trafficking in illicit products,” according to a Department of Justice statement.

He and his customers would also agree to mislabel packages, break up shipments into separate components, alter destination addresses and use multiple forwarding companies in an attempt to delay or complicate detection by US authorities.

Li was arrested in July 2017 when he entered the US and pleaded guilty to the offences later that year, and is likely to be deported following his prison term.

“State and local governments rely on complex computer networking technology, including the transceivers and other parts that were trafficked in this case, to manage critical data and operations,” continued the DoJ, which notes the technology is also prominent in banks, hospitals, air traffic control installations, power plants and other essential infrastructure.

“Because counterfeit parts are often not subject to stringent manufacturing requirements, they present a significant health and safety risk to communities across the US.”

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