Cisco defrauder gets 7 years

Maryland man and accomplice manufactured bogus gear to obtain replacement parts

A Gaithersburg, Md., man was sentenced to seven years in prison for defrauding Cisco. Iheanyi Frank Chinasa, 39, was sentenced for his participation in a scheme to illicitly obtain Cisco products through a warranty replacement program. 

Chinasa and an accomplice, Robert Kendrick Chambliss, manufactured counterfeit Cisco gear and then contacted Cisco to request replacement parts by claiming the equipment didn't operate properly. The two sent Cisco the counterfeit gear in return for the replacement parts, as per the warranty policy. 

Cisco returned more than 950 pieces of equipment to Chinasa and Chambliss, worth about $27 million, according to a report by IDG News Service's Grant Gross.

Chinasa and Chambliss, 31, of Henrico, Va., were indicted on Aug. 18, 2010.   Chambliss pled guilty in January to conspiring to commit mail fraud and wire fraud, and was sentenced in April a year in prison and almost $19 million in restitution. 

Chinasa was convicted on Feb. 7 by a federal jury in Richmond, Va., of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, eight counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.  He was ordered to pay the $19 million in restitution jointly with co-defendant Chambliss, and to serve three years of supervised release following his prison term. 

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael C. Moore of the Eastern District of Virginia and Trial Attorney Kevin B. Muhlendorf of the Criminal Division's Fraud Section. The case was investigated by the FBI.

Last fall, a husband/wife team from Arizona received stiff prison sentences after being found guilty of defrauding Cisco out of $20 million in a similar equipment replacement/resale scheme. And earlier this year, a Masschusetts man received four years for defrauding Cisco out of $15 million to fund a classic car collection.

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