FBI collars lead to success convicting con artists defrauding Cisco

Federal Bureau of Investigation
As the year draws to a close, a clear message Cisco sent to the market in 2007 is it won't tolerate fraud, especially of its SmartNet services. The best example of this came earlier this year when Cisco, in conjunction with the FBI, successfully convicted 2 con artists who schemed to defraud Cisco out of millions. However, even more ominous for the morally challenged, is the continued pursuit by Cisco and the FBI of Cisco SMARTnet fraud. Individuals and companies involved in Cisco SMARTnet fraud who wish to turn themselves in or cooperate with law enforcement should contact the Federal Bureau of Investigation at 408-369-8900. Successful convictions during 2007: Sentenced to 4 years in prison and pay $3.1 million to Cisco: In January 2007, Nicholas Stoupis was sentenced to 4 years and 3 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release and pay restitution in the amount of $3.1 million to Cisco. Stoupis plead guilty to two counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud in a scheme to defraud Cisco of $4.7 million worth of products. Stoupis was employed by a military contractor and assigned to work at Hanscom Air Force Base. At Hanscom, Stoupis created email accounts in the names of fictitious individuals with a Hanscom email address. Stoupis used these accounts to order replacement products for Cisco products that had been sold to the military or to military contractors, and then subsequently recalled by Cisco. Stoupis directed Cisco to send these replacement products to his home address. Stoupis then sold the Cisco products over the Internet. Stoupis falsely told his Internet customers that he was selling the Cisco products as used military goods no longer needed by the military. In total, Stoupis obtained Cisco products in this manner with a retail value worth in excess of $4.7 million.

Sentenced to 5 years in prison and pay $1.5 million to Cisco: According to the indictment, Mark Thomas Geis of Dallas conspired to sell, and offer for sale, computer network hardware devices bearing the Cisco Systems, Incorporated name and mark, knowing that the name and mark on the goods were counterfeit. In April 2007, Geis was sentenced to five years in prison following his guilty plea to the indictment that charged him with conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit Cisco goods, and Geis was also ordered by the court to pay $1.5 million in restitution to Cisco.

Phil Wright
"Because our customers expect the highest-level of satisfaction when purchasing Cisco products we cooperate with law enforcement and government agencies around the world to combat the manufacture, distribution and sale of counterfeit products and to protect our valuable intellectual property," said Phil Wright - director brand protection at Cisco. "We are very pleased with the support we have received from the United States government and local authorities in helping us address this global, illegal activity." The Biggest Surprise: The Court also found that Geis obstructed justice by installing and executing a computer cleaner software program to delete data on his laptop prior to surrendering the laptop to the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Now that is absolutely shocking! Not only does Geis steal millions, but he also obstructs justice? What is this world coming to?

Contact Brad Reese

Join the Network World communities on Facebook and LinkedIn to comment on topics that are top of mind.

Copyright © 2007 IDG Communications, Inc.