Wholesaler Took $20 million from U.S. military for Uniforms, Gave it Chinese Knockoffs
The U.S. military was duped into buying over $20 million worth of fake uniform and equipment made in China, and now a Brooklyn wholesaler is paying the price.
According to a release by the Department of Justice, Ramin Kohanbash provided samples of actual military uniforms and gear to manufacturers in China to replicate, in order to have knock-offs made for sale to the U.S. military.
After the fakes were made in China, the goods were shipped and sold as planned, costing the U.S. military a pretty penny for inferior goods.
The procurement violated the Berry Amendment and Trade Agreements Act, which mandated that goods be made in the U.S. and a select number of allied countries, with China obviously not on that list.
“Among other items Kohanbash and his co-conspirators arranged to counterfeit, were military parkas used by U.S. Air Force personnel stationed in Afghanistan,” the statement read. “These parkas are made with a fabric known as Multicam®, which incorporates specialized near-infrared (“NIR”) management technology designed to make the wearer more difficult to detect with equipment such as night-vision goggles. According to the information, two hundred of these counterfeit Multicam® parkas, lacking the critical NIR management technology, were sold to a U.S. Air Force Base Supply Center.”
The filing of charges were announced by the United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island Aaron L. Weisman; Special Agent-in-Charge Leigh-Alistair Barzey, Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Luis A. Hernandez, General Services Administration Office of Inspector General, New England Regional Investigations Office; Resident Agent in Charge Michael D. Conner, Boston Fraud Resident Agency, U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command; Jason T. Hein, Special Agent in Charge, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Office of Procurement Fraud Investigation, Detachment; and Homeland Security Investigations Newark, NJ, Special Agent in Charge Brian A. Michael.
Kohanbash is slated to appear before a U.S. Magistrate in June and faces conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods. If convicted on both charges, he faces up to 15 years in prison.
This first appeared in WarIsBoring here.