Maryland Man Convicted of Defrauding Cisco

A federal jury this week found a local man guilty of multiple fraud charges and obstruction of an official proceeding related to his participation in a scheme to defraud Cisco Systems Inc., the Department of Justice announced in a press release.

Iheanyi Frank Chinasa, 39, of Gaithersburg, Md., was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, eight counts of mail fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of obstruction of an official proceeding.

According to court records and evidence at trial, Chinasa and Robert Kendrick Chambliss of Henrico, Va., manufactured counterfeit computer networking and telecommunications equipment. They then contacted Cisco, falsely claiming they were having trouble with a Cisco product covered by a warranty.

Cisco would issue replacement parts, but its warranty required return of the allegedly defective product. The duo would then send counterfeit product to Cisco to satisfy the return policy.

According to The Gazette, Chinasa’s attorney John O. Iweanoge II said his client wanted the case to go to trial because they believed there was reasonable doubt in the case.

“While we’re disappointed in the outcome, we respect the jury’s decision in a very difficult and complex case,” Iweanoge told The Gazette. “We are reviewing all the other options that are available to us under the Constitution, including the right to appeal.”

Chinasa is scheduled to be sentenced  May 5, 2011. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count.

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