Florida man arrested for selling fake Cisco Systems equipment


Cisco Systems enterprise networking equipment is not cheap. Having worked at Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory for 16 years and having been on the team responsible for keeping track of the lab’s equipment, I can attest to the value of this networking equipment.

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Cisco networking gear is deployed across thousands of business and consumer applications and is a trusted name. So it’s no surprise that the company has a problem with counterfeit hardware that can sometimes make it into the market.

Authorities on Friday announced the arrest of a Florida man accused of importing counterfeit Cisco Systems networking equipment that, if real, would be worth over $1 billion. Onur Aksoy, 38, of Miami, is accused of working with suppliers in China and Hong Kong to import the fake hardware and sell it on Amazon and eBay.

The U.S. Attorney’s office in New Jersey, which announced the arrest, said Aksoy then resold the devices to unwitting customers, with the devices’ origins having been disguised with fake Cisco labels, packaging and documentation.

According to the indictment, the scheme netted about $100 million of revenue and several million dollars of illegal profit for Aksoy, who allegedly bought the fake devices for as much as 99% less than Cisco’s recommended retail prices.


Cisco had tried to stop Aksoy by sending him cease-and-desist papers, but that did not seem to do the trick. Amazon and eBay have blocked the storefronts selling the counterfeit hardware after consumers complained about the hardware being obviously fake.

The counterfeiter was charged with 11 criminal counts, which included wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods. These schemes can happen, but they are generally found out, and the criminals are brought to justice.

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