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CEO of Multiple Fake Companies Charged in $1bn Counterfeit Scheme to Traffic Fake Cisco Devices

 

Last Friday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) revealed that a Florida citizen named Ron Aksoy had been arrested and alleged with selling thousands of fake and counterfeit Cisco goods over 12 years. 

Aksoy, also known as Dave Durden, would have operated at least 19 firms based in New Jersey and Florida, as well as at least 15 Amazon stores, around 10 eBay storefronts, and many additional corporations worth more than $1 billion. Aksoy faces three counts of mail fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and three counts of trafficking in counterfeit products. 

According to court records, the fraudulent firms purchased tens of thousands of counterfeit Cisco networking equipment from China and Hong Kong and resold them to consumers in the United States and across the world, fraudulently advertising the items as new and authentic. Chinese counterfeiters modified earlier, lower-model goods (some of which had been sold or dumped) to look to be authentic versions of newer, improved, and more expensive Cisco gear. 

As a result, the fraudulent and counterfeit items had severe performance, functionality, and safety issues, costing users tens of thousands of dollars. According to the indictment, between 2014 and 2022, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) confiscated approximately 180 shipments of counterfeit Cisco equipment being transported to the Pro Network Entities (the fraudulent firm name under which Aksoy operated) from China and Hong Kong. 

In response to some of these seizures, Aksoy would have filed fraudulent official papers to CBP using the pseudonym "Dave Durden," which he also used to contact with Chinese co-conspirators. The entire enterprise reportedly generated over $100 million in income, with Aksoy keeping a sizable portion while his co-conspirators received the remainder. Potential victims have been advised to get in touch with authorities. 

The DOJ has developed a publicly available list of Pro Network firms, as well as the accused criminal's eBay and Amazon stores.

Russian authorities arrested cyber criminals who sold billion counterfeit rubles on the dark web


Employees of the Ministry of Internal Affairs in Nizhny Novgorod stopped the activities of a group engaged in the production of counterfeit money. Fakes in denominations of 5000, 2000 and 1000 were of such high quality that not every detector in stores could detect them.

High-quality counterfeit money was made in Nizhny Novgorod, from where it was delivered to almost all regions of Russia through the Hydra Internet resource. The criminal organization included several dozen people, and none of them personally knew each other.

Last year, Tatarstan opened the first criminal case under the article Production, storage, transportation or sale of counterfeit money or securities. The first counterfeit bills were found in the region. Then fake money began to appear in many regions of Russia.

For conspiracy, the attackers communicated exclusively through the periodically blocked by Roskomnadzor mirrors of the Internet resource Hydra. According to police officers, the accomplices knew each other only by nicknames on the Internet. The distribution of fakes was also carried out in a non-contact manner using special hiding places.

Wholesale lots from 500 thousand rubles ($6,750) went for 10-15% of the face value. But the greatest demand in the regions were small parties from 10 thousand to 150 thousand rubles ($135 - $2,000) counterfeiters sold for 30% of the nominal value.

When a buyer made a payment on Hydra using cryptocurrency, a shipment of fake money was sent from Moscow using fake passports through a transport company to accomplices. They left fake money in secret places, and then passed the coordinates to customers.

The identity of the organizers and producers of counterfeit money could be established only in the spring of this year. They were three residents of Nizhny Novgorod region Oleg Efimov, Ivan Averof and Andrey Skvortsov. Two sets of printing equipment for the production of counterfeit money of very high quality, color laser printers, laptops, a laminator, mock-ups of banknotes, threads for gluing into banknotes and blanks of emblem images were seized from the detainees.

It was established that the criminal group existed for about a year and printed and put into circulation about one billion rubles ($13,5 million).