Operations Manager Indicted in Scheme to Sell Counterfeit Clothing to the U.S. Military
PROVIDENCE – An operations manager of a North Dakota-based company that sells clothing and others items to the U.S. military, U.S. government, police, and others, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Providence, RI, for his alleged role in a conspiracy that sold more than twenty million dollars-worth of counterfeit goods to military and government purchasers.
It is alleged that Terry Roe, 48, of Burlington, ND, conspired with at least one other individual, Ramin Kohanbash, 50, of Brooklyn, NY, to obtain counterfeit clothing, apparel, and gear. Kohanbash in turn worked with Bernard Klein, 39, also of Brooklyn, to arrange for these goods to be manufactured in China and Pakistan and imported into the United States. The indictment alleges that Roe, and others working at his direction through his position as an operations manager for the North Dakota company, then arranged for these counterfeit goods to be sold and delivered to the U.S. military, and other government and law enforcement agencies, including to the Rhode Island National Guard in East Greenwich, RI, as part of an investigatory controlled purchase. As alleged, Roe and others working at his direction falsely represented to the U.S. military and its suppliers that the counterfeit goods were manufactured in the United States as required.
Klein, a New York businessman, and Kohanbash, a New Jersey wholesaler, have both been separately charged, and previously admitted in U.S. District Court in Providence that they conspired with each other, and others, to arrange the mass production of goods in China and Pakistan that carried counterfeit markings and labels identical to genuine trademarks registered with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Klein and Kohanbash instructed the Chinese on how to label and package the goods in order to avoid problems when shipments were inspected by U.S. Customs.
Among the counterfeit items produced in China and Pakistan and shipped to Kohanbash in the United States for distribution were counterfeit United Join Forces® Multicam® APEC parkas, counterfeit FREE® hoods, counterfeit Polartec® fleece shirts, and Gen III Level 7 parkas bearing counterfeit Primaloft® and ADS® hangtags. Some of the counterfeit items sold as part of the conspiracy lacked the required safety measures. Specifically, the counterfeit FREE® hoods were not actually fire resistant as indicated by the labels and hangtags. Additionally, the counterfeit Multicam® APEC parkas lacked the required NIR technology which would make the service member wearing the jacket difficult to detect by an enemy using night vision goggles.
A federal grand jury on Wednesday returned an indictment charging Roe with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and traffic in counterfeit goods, mail fraud, and trafficking in counterfeit goods.
The indictment of Roe is announced by United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman; Leigh-Alistair Barzey, Special Agent-in-Charge of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, Northeast Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Joseph P. Dattoria, General Services Administration Office of Inspector General, New England Regional Investigations Office; Resident Agent in Charge Michael D. Conner, Boston Fraud Resident Agency, US Army Criminal Investigation Command, – Major Procurement Fraud Unit; Jason T. Hein, Special Agent in Charge, Air Force Office of Special Investigations, Office of Procurement Fraud Detachment 6, Joint Base Andrews, MD; Homeland Security Investigations Newark, NJ, Special Agent in Charge Jason J. Molina; and Troy Miller, Director of Customs and Border Protection, New York Field Office.
Ramin Kohanbash pled guilty on June 12, 2019, in U.S. District Court in Providence to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods. He is scheduled to be sentenced on January 22, 2021.
Bernard Klein pleaded guilty on August 25, 2020, in U.S. District Court in Providence to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on December 4, 2020.
A federal indictment is merely an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra R. Hebert, Zachary A. Cunha, and Lee H. Vilker.