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A Long Island man has pleaded guilty to selling surveillance equipment from China and claiming they were American-made to the US military, which prosecutors say posed a significant risk to national security.

The company involved, Aventura Inc., misrepresented the origin of its products, which were actually manufactured in China but sold with “Made in USA” labels. These products, including security turnstiles and night-vision cameras, were known to have cybersecurity vulnerabilities, and were purchased by high-profile customers such as the Navy, the Air Force, and the Department of Energy.

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The scheme extended beyond mere product mislabeling. The company’s CEO, Jack Cabasso, set up a fake laboratory to deceive visitors and falsely accused competitors of engaging in the same illicit activities for which they were guilty. Additionally, Cabasso misrepresented his wife, Frances, as the company CEO to qualify the business as woman-owned, further exploiting government contract opportunities.

In 2019, federal authorities charged Aventura and its senior management with fraud, among other offenses. Following these charges, all individual suspects involved have pleaded guilty. The company itself entered a guilty plea in Long Island Federal Court on Tuesday, agreeing to dissolve and forfeit over $3 million in assets, including a luxury yacht owned by Jack Cabasso and his wife.

US Attorney Breon Peace said, “For years, the defendants, while pretending to be a women-owned business, intentionally corrupted the US military supply chain by passing off Chinese-made networked electronics with known vulnerabilities as American-made.”

The fraudulent activity spanned over a decade, with Aventura amassing $112 million in sales revenue between 2008 and 2019, over $20 million of which came from government contracts. Efforts to conceal the true origin of the products included altering circuit boards and communications to hide any trace of Chinese manufacturing.


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