Indictment Returned Alleging Massive Cisco Device Fraud Scheme

Sign at Cisco Systems headquarters
(Image credit: Cisco Systems)

Attention owners of Cisco Systems routers and other networking devices: Check those products carefully.

A federal grand jury in New Jersey has returned an indictment against a Florida man accused of trafficking in over $1 billion in counterfeit Cisco networking equipment between 2014 and 2022.

According to the allegation, Onur Aksoy, also known as Ron Aksoy or Dave Durden, ran almost two dozen New Jersey and Florida-based companies as more than a dozen Amazon storefronts and almost a dozen eBay storefronts (collectively Pro Network Entities) hawking fraudulent and counterfeit Cisco devices imported from Hong Kong.

The devices were usually older, lower-model products and castoffs modified to appear genuinely new, enhanced and more expensive devices, some with pirated Cisco software and unauthorized components, including components circumventing license circumvention detection software.

Chinese counterfeiters used fake Cisco labels, stickers, boxes and documentation to make them appear factory-sealed.

The devices would fail, malfunction and cause “significant” damage to users‘ networks, in some cases thousands of dollars worth.

Cisco had yet to return a request for comment about whether it had any way to help people identify whether they had counterfeit equipment. ■

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.