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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