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DOJ: Company sold Chinese security systems to U.S. military

Video Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on November 7, 2019 - Duration: 01:35s

DOJ: Company sold Chinese security systems to U.S. military

Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges accusing a New York company of exposing the U.S. government and private customers to security risks by illegally importing and selling surveillance and security equipment from China.

Tamara Lindstrom reports.

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DOJ: Company sold Chinese security systems to U.S. military

Federal prosecutors have filed criminal charges accusing a New York company of exposing the U.S. government and others to security risks, by illegally selling surveillance equipment from China.

Federal agents on Thursday outlined an alleged scheme by Aventura Technologies to import the Chinese goods, label them "Made in the USA" and sell them around the world to unwitting clients, including the U.S. military.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. ATTORNEY RICHARD DONOGHUE, SAYING: "Aventura not only defrauded its customers, but also exposed them to serious, known cybersecurity risks." U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said the owner of the company Jack Cabasso and his wife Frances Cabasso have been charged, as well as five employees.

Aventura's website describes the company as a "true 'single-source' manufacturer" providing security hardware, software and other products to government, military and enterprise customers.

Donoghue said the company sold tens of millions of dollars of equipment to the U.S. government over 13 years.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. ATTORNEY RICHARD DONOGHUE, SAYING: "So obviously when you have Chinese made cameras with PRC software loaded into them networked into sensitive installations such as army bases, navy bases, D.O.E.

Facilities and even American aircraft carriers, that causes a grave concern for national security." The alleged scheme was uncovered by an eagle-eyed airman who noticed an image of a Chinese security force badge in the software of a camera.

Aventura is also accused of misrepresenting itself as a "woman-owned small business" in order to win government contracts set aside for such businesses.

The defendants' lawyers could not immediately be identified.

Aventura did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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