Scammed: DoD Bought Fake, Chinese-Made Military Combat Uniforms

A criminal information was filed last week in US District Court in Providence R.I., in an ongoing investigation into a Brooklyn, N.Y., clothing wholesaler who sold $20 million worth of Chinese-made counterfeit goods to the US Department of Defense (DoD) and other businesses that supply the US government, read a press release from the Department of Justice (DoJ).

At the center of the scheme was Ramin Kohanbash, 49, who provided Chinese manufacturers with US combat uniforms and gear to reproduce. The knockoff products had copied trademarks and brand names of US-made products so that counterfeit versions appeared genuine.

After the counterfeit goods were manufactured in China, they would then arrive at Kohanbash's warehouse in New York. His primary customers were wholesalers who would then sell the uniforms to the military and government buyers.

"Under two US laws known as The Berry Amendment and the Trade Agreements Act ('TAA'), goods sold to the military and certain other government buyers are required to be manufactured in the United States and certain other designated countries; China is not one of those countries," according to the DoJ.

"In order to sell the counterfeit goods, it is alleged that Kohanbash provided wholesalers who did business with the government with false certification letters claiming that the goods were made in the US, and therefore complied with Berry Amendment. In other instances, it is alleged that Kohanbash falsely represented that the goods met TAA requirements," the DoJ continued.

The DoJ alleges that Kohanbash counterfeited military parkas used by the Air Force. These parkas are manufactured with a special fabric known as Multicam, which uses near-infrared ("NIR") management technology designed to make troops virtually invisible to detect by night-vision goggles.

About two hundred of these parkas were counterfeited, lacking the important Multicam fabric, were supplied to Air Force personnel in Afghanistan, could have put them in harm's way on the battlefield.

According to Military Times, justice officials seized 1,700 boxes of counterfeit combat uniforms from Kohanbash's warehouse.

Kohanbash is scheduled to appear in court before US Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan on June 12 for an initial appearance on the charges contained in the court filing.