A Long Island firm sold tens of millions of dollars in Chinese-made surveillance and other sensitive security equipment to customers, including the USA military, by falsely claiming it was made in America, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
Six of the defendants were arrested Thursday morning and were scheduled to be arraigned later Thursday in federal court in Brooklyn, where the case was unsealed, authorities said.
U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue announces the filing of criminal charges accusing a NY company of exposing the U.S. government and private customers to security risks by illegally importing and selling surveillance and security equipment from China, in NY, U.S., November 7, 2019. Check back to Daily Voice for updates.
In a criminal complaint unsealed on November 7, the Department of Justice (DOJ) said that Aventura Technologies, located in Commack, New York, was illegally selling the equipment to the US government and private individuals, and has pocketed $88 million from the fraudulent activities.
The charges against Aventura Technologies Inc, which is situated in Commack, New York, and seven present and previous representatives were made open on Thursday in the government court in Brooklyn. The seventh defendant, Wayne Marino, was expected to surrender to the authorities on Friday.
The suspects face charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and money laundering.
They also found the Cabassos dipped into Aventura's coffer to pay for a 70-foot luxury yacht, named the Tranquilo, which the pair took out for pleasure cruises and rented as a charter around New York, Florida and Aruba, according prosecutors.
Prosecutors say the corporate billed its merchandise as home made - with some even baring phony "Made within the U.S. labels - despite the fact that they have been really smuggled into the States from China and elsewhere".
"This software that was then put into US systems was known to have vulnerabilities that would allow others to access those networks", Mr. Donoghue said. The National Defense Authorization Act, signed into law on August 13, 2018, prohibits government agencies from buying video surveillance and telecommunications equipment from one of the suppliers due to national security concerns, according to the document.
Jonathan Larsen, IRS-CI special agent-in-charge, said that the implications of Aventura's conduct have gone "go beyond shameless attempts at personal enrichment".
Jack Cabasso was detained; he did not have a bail package to offer today.
Since 1982, prosecutors said, he had been convicted of jury tampering, grand larceny and other crimes. This involved telling one manufacturer to remove the Chinese brand's initials from circuit boards shipped to Aventura, and demanding another supplier delete mention of the Chinese company's name in the operating system.
While Jack effectively ran the company, the feds allege Aventura listed Frances as its president and CEO - in an effort to score government contracts by falsely billing itself as a woman-owned small business.