Charges in sale of Chinese surveillance equipment in U.S. - 47abc

Charges in sale of Chinese surveillance equipment in U.S. - 47abc

Charges in sale of Chinese surveillance equipment in U.S. - 47abc

A half dozen senior executives from a New York-based technology company were busted on Thursday for selling more than $20 million worth of security equipment to the United States government while falsely claiming the Chinese-exported products were made in the US, officials said.

The items were installed throughout government agencies, including on aircraft carriers and a Department of Energy facility. A year later, an Air Force service member noticed Chinese characters on the built-in screen of a body camera.

The Security Industry Association finds today's charges issued by the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of NY, against Aventura Technologies and members of its management team to be very serious, and if true, would represent business practices that SIA does not condone. The Department of Treasury, another customer, had paid $16.9 million to the company as of September 9, 2019, according to the complaint.

Two of the Chinese manufacturers that supplied Aventura with equipment are known for producing firmware with security flaws, according to court documents.

"Aventura imports its products from other manufacturers, primarily manufacturers located in [China], at times with false 'Made in the U.S.A.' labels already affixed to the products or displayed on their packaging", a Justice Department court filing said.

Six of the defendants are slated to be arraigned in Brooklyn Federal courtroom Thursday afternoon.

Wayne Marino is expected to surrender Friday.

A lawyer for Mr. Schwartz called the allegations "unsubstantiated and unfortunate".

Aventura did not immediately respond to a request for comment. They're accused of money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.

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Despite all this, prosecutors allege he attempted to rat out other government contractors for running the exact same scheme as his company.

Aventura has made $88 million in sales since November 2010, according to authorities. A phone number listed on the Aventura website has been disconnected. Prosecutors say that some of the allegedly dodgy gear contained known security vulnerabilities.

In addition to the arrests and arraignments, prosecutors say they have executed search warrants at Aventura's headquarters and at the home of Jack and Frances Cabasso. He said the investigation was continuing, and that the authorities were looking for private-sector customers who bought Aventura products.

The raid came as USA officials were deciding whether to allow Chinese tech firms to have access to sensitive US networks and facilities. "In fact, Aventura does not manufacture anything in the United States". The National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law on August 13, 2018, prohibits government agencies from buying video surveillance and telecommunications equipment from one of the suppliers due to national security concerns, according to the document.

The scheme's mastermind, prosecutors said, was Mr. Cabasso, the 61-year-old owner of Aventura and a resident of Northport.

Jack Cabasso was detained; he did not have a bail package to offer today. He was convicted of a handful of crimes relating to fraud, grand larceny, and corruption, among others, dating back to 1982.

The pair allegedly lied about the arrangement to gain access to government contracts reserved for women-owned businesses. Agents also seized $3 million dollars from several bank accounts.

The defendants had gone to lengths to hide any footprint of the products Chinese origin, prosecutors said, including requiring a Chinese supplier to erase its initials from the product's circuit board.

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