Bergen County man arrested for counterfeit computer conspiracy

A Bergen County man was arrested on charges of participating in a multimillion-dollar conspiracy to traffic counterfeit computer networking devices, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.

Musa Karaman, 35, of North Arlington, New Jersey, is charged by complaint with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He appeared by videoconference today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cathy L. Waldor in Newark federal court and was released on $300,000 unsecured bond.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Karaman, Israfil “David” Demir and another an uncharged conspirator, formed and operated numerous entities in the business of selling computer networking equipment from at least September 2017 through May 2021.

The equipment was particularly networking devices manufactured by Cisco Systems Inc., a major U.S. technology conglomerate.

Although Karaman and his conspirators advertised the Cisco products they offered for sale as new and genuine, the products were in fact counterfeit devices that they procured from various illicit suppliers based in China.

In May 2021, federal agents executed a search warrant at a Woodland Park, New Jersey warehouse used by Karaman and his conspirators as their business headquarters and discovered thousands of counterfeit devices, including 7,260 counterfeit Cisco transceivers with a total manufacturer’s suggested retail price of approximately $13.77 million.

Cisco informed law enforcement officials that this is one of the largest volumes of counterfeit transceivers ever seized in the United States, and that the total value of the seized counterfeit devices was unprecedented.

From September 2017 to May 2021, U.S. Customs and Border Protection seized approximately $3.8 million worth of counterfeit Cisco products contained in over 20 shipments sent by illicit China-based suppliers to various locations under the control of Karaman and his conspirators, including their warehouse and home addresses, often under bogus names.

Demir was charged by criminal complaint on May 26, 2021, in this matter.

The conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud count carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a maximum fine of either $250,000 or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.

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