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5 Years In Prison For Selling Fake Cisco Gear 239

angry tapir writes "A Virginia woman was sentenced Friday to five years in prison for leading a 'sophisticated' conspiracy to import and sell counterfeit Cisco Systems networking equipment. In addition to the prison time, Judge Gerald Bruce Lee of U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia also ordered Chun-Yu Zhao, 43, of Chantilly, Virginia, to pay US$2.7 million restitution and a $17,500 fine."
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5 Years In Prison For Selling Fake Cisco Gear

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @11:39PM (#37373184)

    Or maybe she just wanted to make a quick buck like the thousands of other people selling counterfeit goods. Stop watching CSI.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday September 11, 2011 @11:45PM (#37373224)

    You can take the person out of China... ...but you can't take the Chinese out of the person!

  • by fuzzyfuzzyfungus ( 1223518 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @12:02AM (#37373322) Journal
    That's fraud for you. Almost any typically-legal activity can be a crime if you are lying to the other parties involved about what is going on. In this case, I'm assuming that the sticker she went to jail for raised the margin on the goods in question by a nontrivial amount.

    Now, depending on exactly how "compatible" the stuff being sold is, it could be that the seller is either committing fraud by claiming even compatibility, or committing some flavor of copyright infringement against Cisco; but selling falsely labelled goods will push you across the line from legitimate to criminal almost no matter what the product in question is.
  • by MrQuacker ( 1938262 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @12:19AM (#37373440)

    They all work for the Chinese Government....

  • Re:Question here (Score:4, Insightful)

    by pclminion ( 145572 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @12:33AM (#37373518)

    I'm not saying the stuff that the guy who got convicted sold was a perfect clone of the Cisco gear, but if it were, what would be "fake" about it, and would it matter? Does it matter to the bits that flow through it?

    Are you serious? When you had a problem with your "Cisco" equipment and called Cisco, do you think they'd help you out with your counterfeit gear?

  • Re:Question here (Score:4, Insightful)

    by artor3 ( 1344997 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @12:46AM (#37373608)

    So your stance is that every single company on Earth must manufacture their own goods in secret. They cannot use a 3rd party factory, because the factory can just steal the plans and cut the designer out the equation. They cannot have a brand, because if they work hard to build consumer trust, some seedy knock-off company can just start using their name and logo. They cannot reveal their nifty new discoveries in a trade journal, as the ideas will just be stolen. If an employee leaves, they can take everything they ever designed with them, and never mind the fact that their salary was meant to be payment for those designs. Authors and musicians and movie makers and game makers have to beg for donations, since no one need pay them for their works.

    Your ideas are so poorly thought out, it's almost childlike.

    Intellectual property is a necessity for any modern economy. People could get by without such rules back when occupational choices were farmer, hunter, ditch-digger, and prostitute. But today's society is much improved, and those improvements require us to follow certain rules to maintain.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday September 12, 2011 @12:55AM (#37373658)

    You're assuming Cisco is the only victim? What about the buyers? If this equipment is sub-par and goes into mission critical projects, people might die. This was in Virginia, and if the equipment is sold to a government entity and it has back-doors, secrets might be lost and people might die.

    Five years seems very reasonable to me.

  • by hairyfeet ( 841228 ) <bassbeast1968 AT gmail DOT com> on Monday September 12, 2011 @12:57AM (#37373680) Journal

    Dude industrial espionage between governments is as old as time. My grandfather was stationed in Germany and he used to laugh that if the Soviets wanted to take out the German bases all they'd have to do is send one plane at a time as they were ordered not to shoot at single Soviet planes. Why? Because we had a bounty on any Soviet air tech and we wanted to make sure the pilots knew they could just fly across the border and they'd be safe (and well paid). The Russians got us as well, they paid the Chinese for a dud Sidewinder that got stuck in one of their planes and jumped 10 years on their missile tech. According to the Wiki [] the copy they made of the sidewinder was so perfect you could mix and match parts and it would work perfectly.

    The Israelis stole the plans for the Mirage from the French, the Chinese paid dirt farmers to dig up pieces of our crashed F117 so they could save years in research on stealth tech. It isn't like they are wanting to go to war with us, they are wanting to save billions in R&D. If they could get those routers into the right areas they could have all our best tech before it even rolls out of prototype stage. think about how much money that would save them in research!

  • Nope... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Frosty Piss ( 770223 ) * on Monday September 12, 2011 @01:13AM (#37373746)

    I'm wondering whether there was a deeper purpose to importing counterfeited equipment. If such could be successfully sold into government operations, it could then be used for backdoors...

    Cisco gear is *made* in China. We're not dealing with pin-heads here, if they wanted to "backdoor" routers, they would at least attempt to "backdoor" the real things with Chinese operatives in Chinese factories where these routers are made, while on Chinese soil...

    This, of course, is one of the great weaknesses of the shift of manufacturing away from US soil, we just don't make things anymore.

    Not long down the road, all those Filipino maids in the rich palazzos, palaces, and chateaus will be replaced with American maids.

  • Re:Wrist slap. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rahvin112 ( 446269 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @01:36AM (#37373862)

    Yes cause we all know just how successful it is to not only destroy peoples lives, but their future any sense of empathy. What you suggest doesn't work, and there is hundreds of years of evidence that it doesn't. The death penalty would be a highly effective measure at deterring crime if anyone gave a rats ass about deterrents. Not a single person considers the consequences of their actions before they commit crimes. Plenty of people have been severely punished for white collar crime. Ken Lay got 30 years, did that stop the bank fraud that caused the economic crash after Enron?

    You're a fool if you think there is such a thing as a deterrent and it's even worse if you think destroying someone will make the world a better place. In fact based on your post you are probably stupid enough to think prison rape does anything at all other than destroy lives.

  • by wisebabo ( 638845 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @02:27AM (#37374086) Journal

    Your racist comment is belied by the fact that in THIS VERY SAME ARTICLE the presiding judge is presumably Chinese himself but sought to impose the maximum(?) penalty.

    It could be that he is not Chinese (maybe Korean or another nationality) but with the name Gerald BRUCE Lee given to him by hopefully well meaning parents, I think it is more than likely he is of Chinese extraction.

  • by Chrisq ( 894406 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @03:40AM (#37374344)

    They all work for the Chinese Government....

    Well it beats unemployment

  • by cavreader ( 1903280 ) on Monday September 12, 2011 @10:01AM (#37376234)
    The US can torpedo the Chinese economy anytime they want. The US represents 30% of China's export market. Sure it would cause short term damage to the US economy but the US imports nothing from China that can not be obtained from somewhere else or produced domestically. And before anyone mentions China "owning" the US because of their bond and security investments should realize that those ownership claims are vastly exaggerated and losing those investments would damage China more than the US. Chinese and American interests are best served by maintaining stable relationships. I have visited a lot of countries and I was surprised by the Chinese society when I traveled there. I found the people friendly and even though they do have to put up with government restrictions in some areas I did not encounter any overt Chinese repression.

Thus spake the master programmer: "Time for you to leave." -- Geoffrey James, "The Tao of Programming"