Cisco counterfeit conspirators convicted
The US representative of a Chinese company has been convicted of importing and selling counterfeit Cisco-branded computer networking equipment, the Justice Department said Thursday.
Zhao Chun-Yu, of Centreville, Virginia, was convicted by a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, of conspiracy and 15 additional counts, including making false statements to law enforcement and money laundering.
Zhao was ordered to forfeit assets including two Porsches, a Mercedes, seven bank accounts containing more than $1.6 million, and four homes and three condominiums with a total value of more than $2.6 million.
Zhao was acquitted by a federal jury of one count of making false statements and one count of money laundering after a 12-day trial and nearly four days of deliberations, the department said.
Another defendant, Donald Cone, of Frederick, Maryland, was also convicted of conspiracy, it said.
"Zhao operated the US headquarters of a Chinese company that was in the business of stealing intellectual property and defrauding customers," said US attorney Neil MacBride.
Zhao had used numerous false names and addresses to "fly beneath the radar for many years," MacBride said, but her "days of taking in millions of dollars from unsuspecting US consumers and businesses are over."
According to prosecutors, Zhao, Cone and Zhao's relatives in China operated a counterfeit computer networking equipment business called Han Tong Technology (Hong Kong) Ltd.
Zhao and her associates ran a Virginia-based company called JDC Networking Inc. that created labels and packaging in order to mislead consumers into believing the products it sold were genuine Cisco products.
Zhao's sentencing has been set for August 26. She could face up to five years in prison for conspiracy and between 10 and 20 years for each additional count.
Cone's sentencing has been set for August 19. He faces up to five years in prison for conspiracy.
(c) 2011 AFP