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June 12, 2009

HOUSTON MAN INDICTED FOR TRAFFICKING COUNTERFEIT COMPUTER PRODUCTS

(HOUSTON) – Ehab Ashoor, 48, of Sugarland, Texas, has been arrested following the return of a federal indictment charging trafficking in counterfeit Cisco computer products, United States Attorney Tim Johnson announced today. Ashoor was arrested yesterday at his residence without incident by agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Ashoor is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Calvin Botley today at 10:00 a.m.

Cisco is a company that manufactures and sells computer hardware, with an emphasis on network cards that allow computers to communicate with other computers - also called Gigabit Interface Converters or GBICs.

According to the indictment, returned under seal Monday, June 8, 2009, and unsealed upon Ashoor’s arrest, the United States Marine Corps, in connection with their operations in Iraq, required the use of Cisco GBICs and had solicited bids for 200 Cisco GBICs. Requirements were that the items be genuine Cisco products and not an imitation brand that claims the same specifications, stating, “We have experience with substitute brands that do not deliver the required performance and cause signal attenuations and degrade beyond use before the required distance. Not only is this a quality issue it is a possible security issue.”

Ashoor, in connection with his company, CDS Federal Inc., was awarded a contract to supply the 200 Cisco GBICs to the Marines. Rather than procure authentic Cisco GBICs within the Cisco authorized distribution network, the indictment alleges Ashoor instead purchased counterfeits of the Cisco products to be provided to the Marines in Iraq. 

If convicted, Ashoor faces up to 10 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $2 million. 

The criminal charges are the result of a joint investigation conducted by ICE and Customs and Border Protection as well as the Department of Defense - Criminal Investigative Service. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jason Varnado.

An indictment is an accusation of criminal conduct and not evidence. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until convicted through due process of law.

 

 

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