Cisco scamster gets 6 years

Stephen Edward Miller, the Cisco SMARTnet scamster who pled guilty to money laundering and mail fraud last year, has been sentenced to 6-1/2 years in prison, according to news reports in Portland, OR. Miller will also have to pay restitution for the $3.7 million worth of Cisco equipment and parts obtained under the money laundering and mail fraud scheme.

Miller admitted setting up various companies to defraud Cisco by making false warranty claims to obtain equipment he then sold on the Internet. Initially, the value of the equipment obtained from the scam was reported to be $8 million, for which Miller faced 10 years on the laundering charge and 20 years on the fraud indictment.

Miller scammed Cisco between Aug. 2004 and Nov. 2006 by making more than $7.9 million in false SMARTnet warranty claims for Cisco parts, according to Network World blogger Brad Reese. Cisco shipped the SMARTnet warranty replacement parts to Miller's downtown Portland office locations that operated under the names PDX USA and the New CB Shop, and to Miller's residences in Everett and Marysville, WA.

Miller never returned the defective Cisco parts for which he made warranty claims. Once he obtained the replacement parts from Cisco, he sold them via the Internet and kept the proceeds for himself, Reese reports.

Scams involving Cisco gear have been common in the last couple of years.

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