NJ, Florida CEO admits trafficking counterfeit Cisco devices (updated)

Kimberly Redmond//June 7, 2023//


NJ, Florida CEO admits trafficking counterfeit Cisco devices (updated)

Kimberly Redmond//June 7, 2023//

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The chief executive officer of dozens of companies in New Jersey and Florida pleaded guilty to selling $1 billion worth of fake Cisco networking equipment that was illegally imported from China.

During a June 5 appearance before U.S. District Judge Peter Sheridan in Trenton federal court, Onur Aksoy, a joint U.S. citizen and Turkish national, entered guilty pleas on fraud and trafficking conspiracy charges in connection with the long-running scheme.

According to authorities, the 39-year-old Miami resident, who also used the aliases of “Ron Aksoy” and “Dave Durden,” set up at least 15 storefronts on Amazon, 10 on eBay, and 19 companies established in New Jersey and Florida to sell counterfeit products.

Through his “Pro Network Entities” venture, which had been operating since at least 2013, Aksoy imported tens of thousands of fake Cisco networking devices from China and Hong Kong and resold them to customers – including hospitals, schools, government agencies and the military – both in the U.S. and overseas, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey.

Described as older and lower-model Cisco equipment, the gear had been altered to appear newer and genuine, complete with bogus labels, stickers, boxes, documentation and packaging, authorities said. Chinese counterfeiters also added pirated software and unauthorized, low-quality or unreliable components, including ones to circumvent Cisco software checks for licenses and hardware authenticity, according to authorities.

As a result, devices sold by Pro Network Entities were prone to “numerous performance, functionality and safety problems,” causing significant damage to customers’ networks and requiring expensive repairs, authorities said.

Cease & desist

From 2014 and 2019, Cisco sent seven letters to Aksoy asking him to cease and desist trafficking of counterfeit goods. He allegedly responded to at least two of these letters by causing his attorney to provide Cisco with forged documents.

Authorities noted that between 2014 and 2022, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) seized around 180 shipments of counterfeit Cisco devices being shipped to the Pro Network Entities from China and Hong Kong. However, in an attempt to avoid CBP scrutiny, Chinese conspirators allegedly broke the shipments up into smaller parcels and shipped them on different days, and Aksoy used at least two fake delivery addresses.

When federal agents executed a search warrant of Aksoy’s warehouse in July 2021, they seized 1,156 counterfeit Cisco devices with a retail value of over $7 million.

He was indicted a year later in Newark federal court.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison, while the term of mail fraud is up to 20 years behind bars. Both offenses also carry a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the crime, whichever is greater, authorities said.

Under the terms of a plea agreement that the court conditionally accepted, Aksoy would receive a prison term of four to six years, forfeit $15 million in illicit gains and make full restitution to his victims.

He is scheduled to return to court for sentencing Nov. 6.

“This guilty plea sends a strong message to bad actors that selling counterfeits has severe consequences,” Kebharu Smith, director of Amazon’s Counterfeit Crimes Unit, told NJBIZ. “We are grateful for the collaboration with Cisco and the work of the U.S. Department of Justice to bring this counterfeiter to justice.”

“We are committed to protecting our valued customers and legitimate authorized Cisco channel partners and maintaining the integrity and quality of Cisco products and services,” said Al Palladin, head of global brand protection at Cisco. “We thank our colleagues in U.S. Law Enforcement and the Department of Justice for their investigative actions, the successful indictment, and the work that led to today’s outcome. The Cisco Brand Protection team also appreciates the strong collaboration with Amazon’s CCU for jointly making the criminal referral that brought this individual to justice.”

Anyone who believes they may be a victim of Aksoy or Pro Network Entities, should visit www.justice.gov/largecases or www.justice.gov/usao-nj/united-states-v-onur-aksoy-pro-network for more information.

The Pro Network Entities companies that operated in New Jersey included:

  • Pro Network LLC, formed in August 2013
  • Easy Network LLC, formed in April 2017
  • ACE NETUS LLC, formed in April 2017
  • My Network Dealer LLC, formed in April 2017
  • 1701 Doral LLC, formed in May 2017
  • Team Tech Global LLC, formed in January 2018


Pro Network’s Amazon storefronts included: Albus Trade Hub, EasyNetworkUS, Get Better Trade, Mercadeal, Netech Solutions, Netkco LLC, NFD Trading LLC, Palm Network Solutions, Renewed Equip, Servtaur, Smart Network, SOS Trade Tech, Target-Solutions, TeamTech Global and TradeOrigin US.

Its eBay operations included: connectwus, futuretechneeds, getbettertrade, getontrade, maytechtradingllc, netechsolutions, netkco, nfdtrading, smartnetworkusa and tenektradingllc.

Editor’s note: This story was updated at 3:12 p.m. ET June 7, 2023, to include statements from Amazon and Cisco.