Man sent down for counterfeit Cisco hardware offences


Ehab Ashoor, a Saudi Citizen who lives in Sugarland, Texas, has been sentenced to 51 months in prison for offences involving counterfeit Cisco network hardware.

Evidence presented at his trial suggested that Ashoor had bought counterfeit Cisco Gigabit Interface Converters from an online vendor in China and planned to sell them to the US Department of Defence for use by US Marine Corps in Iraq.

His sentencing in the Southern District of Texas also ordered him to pay Cisco Systems back a total of $119,400 (80,730).

Not the first, not the last

Ashoor is not the first to be punished for this kind of offence. In January, at the Central District of California, 33-year-old Chinese resident Yongcai Li was sent to prison for 30 months and told to pay Cisco $790,683 (534,606).

An FBI crackdown on distribution of counterfeit network hardware, known as Operation Network Raider, has now led to 30 felony convictions.

It has also resulted in over 700 seizures of counterfeit Cisco network hardware and labels, the estimated retail value of which is over $143 million (97 million).

Nine people are currently facing trial for the offences, while eight defendants are awaiting their sentencing.


It appears the US authorities are doing a fine job of cutting down on the illegal activity, with US Customs and Border Protection claiming there has been a 75 per cent reduction in seizures of such hardware at the country's borders from 2008 to 2009.

"Trafficking in counterfeit computer components is a problem that spans the globe and impacts most, if not all, major network equipment manufacturers," said assistant attorney general Lanny Breuer of the Criminal Division at the US Department of Justice.

"As this operation demonstrates, sustained cooperation between law enforcement and the private sector is often a critical factor in disrupting and dismantling criminal organisations that threaten our economy and endanger public safety," he added in a statement.

Tom Brewster

Tom Brewster is currently an associate editor at Forbes and an award-winning journalist who covers cyber security, surveillance, and privacy. Starting his career at ITPro as a staff writer and working up to a senior staff writer role, Tom has been covering the tech industry for more than ten years and is considered one of the leading journalists in his specialism.

He is a proud alum of the University of Sheffield where he secured an undergraduate degree in English Literature before undertaking a certification from General Assembly in web development.