Investigation: Military, FBI Scammed With Counterfeit Computer Parts

Investigation: Military, FBI Scammed With Counterfeit Computer Parts
Investigation: Military, FBI Scammed With Counterfeit Computer Parts 

December 24, 2007

RICHMOND, Texas -- Two men were charged with felony crimes, accused of 
scamming the military and other sensitive government agencies with 
counterfeit computer parts, Local 2 Investigates reported Monday.

Federal agents said the phony computer equipment was sold to the U.S. 
Air Force, the Marine Corps, the FBI, Department of Energy and the 
Federal Aviation Administration.

Two Richmond brothers are now facing felony indictments, charged with 
conspiracy and trafficking in counterfeit goods. Michael Edman, 36, and 
Robert Edman, 28, are due in court on Jan. 4 to face a federal judge.

The indictment accuses the pair of registering a business name of "Syren 
Technology" and importing imitation computer cards and other components, 
passing them off as being manufactured by technology giant, Cisco 

The men are charged with importing cartons full of phony stickers with 
the Cisco Systems logo and attaching the stickers to imitation computer 

They are also accused of importing empty boxes with Cisco logos to 
package the equipment for shipment to the military and other agencies to 
make them appear to be the higher priced, legitimate product.

Michael Edman declined to answer the door at his rural Richmond home, 
and he then drove away as a Local 2 investigative reporter tried to ask 
him for comment.

Federal prosecutors have filed paperwork in court moving to seize his 
home and his ranch land, valued at nearly $500,000, according to Fort 
Bend County Appraisal District records.

Neighbors reported seeing cartons of computer equipment coming and going 
from the house until agents from the U.S. Immigration and Customs 
Enforcement agency raided the home.

Prosecutors could not be reached to comment on the indictment. Their 
indictment does not mention whether any of the questionable products 
failed after being shipped to the various military and other agencies.

Other victims, according to the indictment, are federal prisons 
throughout the nation, a cable TV enterprise, and local government 
agencies on the West Coast.

If convicted of the charges, the men could be sent to federal prison or 
they could receive probation.

The younger brother could not be located for comment.

Court papers said federal agents received much of their information, 
including specifics on shipments of the phony merchandise and payment 
amounts, from the seller of the counterfeit goods in China. That person 
is listed in court papers as an "un-indicted co-conspirator," and he 
does not face any charges at this time.

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