NEW YORK (AP) - A Long Island firm sold tens of millions of dollars in Chinese-made surveillance and other sensitive security equipment to customers, including the U.S. military, by falsely claiming it was made in America, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
The fraud that prosecutors allege by Aventura Technologies Inc. raised "a grave concern" over cyber security, U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said.
Though there was no evidence of breaches or Chinese government involvement, emails recovered in the investigation showed "individuals in China were well aware of what was going on," Donoghue said.
The equipment made in China and sold by Aventura "as purportedly U.S.-made has been installed on dozens of Army, Navy and Air Force bases, Department of Energy facilities and, among other places, on Navy aircraft carriers," prosecutors said in the criminal complaint.
Authorities accuse the company of systematically relabeling its merchandise to say it was manufactured at its U.S. plant. The cover-up included use of a photo that an Aventura executive claimed showed the company's assembly line, but was actually an image of workers in a Chinese facility, it said.
Seven current and former Aventura employees, including members of its top management, were charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
A phone message seeking comment was left Thursday at Aventura's headquarters in Commack, New York.
Customs and Border Protection officers inspected a shipment from China at a customs warehouse in Queens, May 1, 2017. The shipment contained two types of surveillance cameras labeled with Aventura Technologies logo and address. (U.S. Justice Department)
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