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Man pleads guilty to selling counterfeit goods to U.S. military


PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A clothing wholesaler has admitted to selling counterfeit goods to the U.S. military.

Ramin Kohanbash, 49, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty in Providence District Court Thursday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

Kohanbash sold more than $20 million worth of Chinese-made counterfeit apparel to the U.S.

According to U.S. Attorney Aaron Weisman, some parkas were wrongfully labeled to have Multicam® fabric, which incorporates specialized near-infrared management technology to make it more difficult for someone to be detected with night-vision goggles or other equipment.

Addtionally, some of the labels falsely stated the items were “permanently flame resistant”.

One of the scheme’s alleged victims is North Kingstown-based, United Associates, which sells clothing and uniforms like infrared parkas.

Val Boezi, the owner of United, told Eyewitness News he discovered Kohanbash’s company was sewing United’s tags into counterfeit goods that didn’t actually have the infrared technology.

He filed a lawsuit in 2018.

According to United States laws, goods sold to the military and certain government entities are required to be manufactured in the U.S. or other desginated countries. China is not one of them.

Prosecutors said Kohanbash provided false documents claiming the goods were made in the U.S.

Kohanbash is scheduled to be sentenced January 17, 2020.

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