D O J Seal
U.S. Department of Justice

United States Attorney
Northern District of Texas

1100 Commerce St., 3rd Fl.
Dallas, Texas 75242-1699



Telephone (214) 659-8600
Fax (214) 767-0978

CONTACT: 214/659-8600
APRIL 17, 2007


DALLAS - Mark Thomas Geis of Dallas was sentenced today to five years in prison following his guilty plea in September 2006 to an indictment that charged him with conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods, announced U.S. Attorney Richard B. Roper of the Northern District of Texas. U.S. District Judge Barbara M.G. Lynn also ordered that Geis, 37, pay $1.5 million restitution to the U.S. District Court for distribution to Cisco Systems, Incorporated. Geis was taken into custody at his rearraignment in September.

According to the indictment and stipulated facts in the factual resume, beginning in February 2005 and continuing to an undetermined date, Geis, doing business as VARGlobal, conspired with another individual to traffic in counterfeit goods. Geis conspired to sell, and offer for sale, computer network hardware devices bearing the Cisco Systems, Incorporated name and mark, knowing that the name and mark on the goods were counterfeit.

The Court found that Geis and his partner, doing business as VARGlobal trafficked in approximately $4,200,000 of Cisco hardware from 2001 to 2004.

In October 2001, Geis was sentenced, in a separate case also in the Northern District of Texas, to 46 months imprisonment after he admitted his participation in a conspiracy to defraud Microsoft Corporation. He served his prison sentence, but violated the terms of his supervised release. Today, Geis also pled true to the allegations in the Petition to Revoke Geis’s Supervised Release, and Judge Lynn imposed a 10-month sentence to be served consecutively to the five-year sentence in the other case.

Testimony and evidence presented during the sentencing hearing today established that Geis created and operated VARGlobal before reporting to prison in 2001. Geis and his partner bought and sold counterfeit hardware, to include Cisco hardware. Prior to reporting to prison, and while in prison, Geis instructed and directed his VARGlobal partner to run the business, negotiate and deal with certain suppliers and buyers, conduct business on eBay Inc., use PayPal, engage in monetary transactions, and to deal with problem or complaining customers. When Geis left prison, he covertly worked for VARGlobal with his partner, while reporting a different job to his supervised release officer.

Today, the Court also found that Geis obstructed justice by installing and executing a computer cleaner software program to delete data on his laptop prior to surrendering the laptop to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

“Because our customers expect the highest-level of satisfaction when purchasing Cisco products we cooperate with law enforcement and government agencies around the world to combat the manufacture, distribution and sale of counterfeit products and to protect our valuable intellectual property,” said Phil Wright, director Brand Protection at Cisco Systems. “We are very pleased with the support we have received from the United States government and local authorities in helping us address this global, illegal activity.”

U.S. Attorney Roper praised the investigative efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and thanked Cisco Systems, Incorporated for its complete cooperation throughout the course of the investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Candy Heath.