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July 12, 11

NEWS / Leawood Man Sentenced for Smuggling Counterfeit Cisco Computer Equipment

KANSAS CITY, KS—A Leawood, Kansas man has been sentenced to 33 months in federal prison for selling $1 million worth of counterfeit Cisco computer equipment, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Christopher Myers, 42, Leawood, Kan., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to bring goods into the United States by false statements, to smuggle goods into the United States, and to traffic in counterfeit goods.

In his plea, Myers admitted he conspired with co-defendant Timothy Weatherly of Overland Park, Kan. They operated a business called Deals Direct, Inc., from a warehouse in Merriam, Kansas. Beginning in 2005 and continuing through Nov. 14, 2006, Myers and Weatherly imported computer equipment from China. They put counterfeit Cisco labels on the equipment and placed the counterfeit goods in Cisco boxes with counterfeit Cisco manuals. The counterfeit equipment was sold on Deal Direct’s website and on eBay as genuine Cisco equipment.

They obtained access to Cisco’s confidential serial number verification website in order to obtain legitimate serial numbers. Working with a manufacturer in Hong Kong, the conspirators used multiple shippers and other methods to attempt to keep shipments from being seized by customs officials. When investigators served a search warrant Nov. 8, 2006, in Merriam, Kansas, they found hundreds of counterfeit Cisco labels, stickers, boxes, and documentation as well as thousands of counterfeit Cisco goods.

Co-defendant Weatherly is set for sentencing Oct. 3.

Grissom commended Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Scott Rask for their work on the case. This case was prosecuted in cooperation with the Justice Department’s Task Force on Intellectual Property (IP Task Force). For more information, see www.justice.gov/dag/iptaskforce.


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