We all know not to buy routers and servers from the guy in the trench coat hawking networking equipment on the street corner, but it turns out hardware-counterfeiting operations have become a bit more complicated in recent years.
A District Court judge in Virginia has ordered 43-year-old Chun-Yu Zhao to pay $2.7 million in restitution for selling counterfeit Cisco equipment. Zhao was also sentenced to 60 months in prison and stripped of her U.S. citizenship.
The Department of Justice called Zhao and company's operation "sophisticated," but the same can't be said for the Web site of her company, JDC Networking Inc., one of the venues used to hawk the fake networking gear, which looks as though it was designed for Netscape version 1.0, complete with nifty scrolling text and funky "wordart" fonts straight outta Office 97.
While Zhao and her associates weren't spending much on their Web presence, they spent plenty of their ill-gotten gains elsewhere, attempting to launder the funds by purchasing four homes in Maryland and northern Virginia and three condominiums with a total value of more than $2.6 million; a Porsche Boxster, Porsche Cayenne, and Mercedes sedan; and seven bank accounts containing more than $1.6 million. Judge Gerald Bruce Lee ordered that those assets be seized, along with Zhao's passport.… Read more