U.S. charges New York company with illegal Chinese equipment sales

© Reuters. U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue announces the filing of 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 Chin © Reuters. U.S. Attorney Richard P. Donoghue announces the filing of 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 Chin

By Brendan Pierson and Jonathan Stempel

NEW YORK (Reuters) – 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.

The charges against Aventura Technologies Inc, which is based in Commack, New York, and seven current and former employees were made public on Thursday in the federal court in Brooklyn. Six of the people have been arrested, including Jack Cabasso, the man accused of leading the scheme.

Cabasso was ordered jailed without bail following a brief court appearance, while the other five, including Cabasso’s wife, Frances Cabasso, were released. Aventura and lawyers for the Cabassos could not immediately be reached for comment.

Prosecutors said the defendants falsely told customers that Aventura’s products were made in the United States rather than imported, mainly from China, in a scheme that ran from 2006 until this month. Some of those products carried known cybersecurity risks, according to prosecutors.

The company’s largest customers are U.S. government agencies including the Army, Navy and Air Force, though it also sold to private companies, making about $ 88 million since 2010, prosecutors said.

Founded in 1999, Aventura describes itself on its website as a “true ‘single-source’ manufacturer” providing security hardware, software and peripheral products to government, military and enterprise customers.

According to the complaint, Aventura sometimes sold Chinese imports with false “Made in the U.S.A.” labels already affixed or displayed on packaging.

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said the government began investigating the alleged scheme after a member of an Air Force security unit saw an image of a Chinese security service badge in software for one device.

Prosecutors said Aventura reported having sold $ 20.7 million of security equipment to the U.S. government through the end of 2018 via U.S. General Services Administration contracts.

They also accused Aventura of misrepresenting itself as a “woman-owned small business” in order to win government contracts set aside for such businesses, falsely listing Cabasso’s wife, Frances, as the company’s owner and chief executive.

The complaint included communications that, according to prosecutors, show the defendants knew about the illegal imports.

It quoted an instant message from the defendant Eduard Matulik, a director of international sales, to a colleague saying ‘im going to china because I need to know what we are selling and have to source a bunch of stuff,” and that “jack doesn’t have time and we don’t know what we are selling anymore.”

Prosecutors said in court papers that Jack Cabasso should not be released on bail because his wealth, foreign connections and “lengthy criminal history,” including a conviction for tampering with a jury in an earlier fraud case against him, point to a high risk that he will flee the country.

They said they had seized $ 3 million and a luxury yacht from him, but believed he has other assets offshore.

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Ford names company veterans to lead auto, mobility units

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ford Motor Executive Vice President and President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs addresses the audience during the 100-year celebration of the Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Ford Motor Executive Vice President and President of the Americas Joe Hinrichs addresses the audience during the 100-year celebration of the Ford River Rouge Complex in Dearborn

(Reuters) – Ford Motor (NYSE:) Co on Wednesday named two company veterans to lead its auto and mobility businesses as the No.2 U.S. automaker shifts its focus to autonomous vehicles and realigns its automobile portfolio.

Joe Hinrichs was named president of its automotive unit and Jim Farley as president, new businesses, technology & strategy, effective May 1. Both the executives will report to Chief Executive Officer Jim Hackett, the company said.

“In the past two years, we have made tangible progress in improving the fitness of our business, overhauled our regional strategies, created a winning product portfolio, and are working to transform Ford to succeed in an era of profound change and disruption,” Hackett said.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

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Southwest to keep Boeing 737 MAX off schedules through May instead of April 20: company memo

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: A number of grounded Southwest Airlines Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft are shown parked at Victorville Airport in Victorville, California

SEATTLE (Reuters) – Southwest Airlines (NYSE:) Co said on Friday it was pulling its Boeing (NYSE:) Co 737 MAX jets from flight schedules through May, extending its earlier timeline from April 20, according to a company memorandum seen by Reuters.

“This will impact the lines in May, but, now that the decision has been made, we can construct our schedule without those flights well in advance in hopes to minimize the daily disruptions,” the Southwest Airlines Pilots Association and the company said in the joint memorandum.

Boeing’s top-selling 737 MAX jetliner has been grounded in the wake of two deadly crashes involving that model in five months, one in Indonesia last October and another on March 10 in Ethiopia.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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U.S. Clothing company Guess fined $45 million for blocking cross-border sales

© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Employees wait for customers in the Guess section in the Central Universal Department Store (TsUM) in Kiev © Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Employees wait for customers in the Guess section in the Central Universal Department Store (TsUM) in Kiev

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – EU antitrust regulators fined U.S clothing company Guess 40 million euros ($ 45.3 million) on Monday for illegally blocking cross-border sales in Europe, as one of several companies targeted since a wide-ranging inquiry into e-commerce sales.

The investigation into Guess kicked off in June 2017. The European Commission said the retailer cooperated by providing key evidence and received a 50 percent cut in the fine.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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Digital media company Technicolor explores options including sale: sources

© Reuters.  Digital media company Technicolor explores options including sale: sources © Reuters. Digital media company Technicolor explores options including sale: sources

By Pamela Barbaglia and Liana B. Baker

LONDON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Technicolor SA has been exploring options that include a full or partial sale of the French digital media company, as its set-top box business struggles because of higher prices for memory chips, people familiar with the matter said on Friday.

A deal would represent the biggest shakeup for the company, based in Issy-les-Moulineaux, since it agreed in March to sell its profitable patent licensing business to U.S. wireless technology provider InterDigital Inc for $ 475 million.

Technicolor has been in discussions in recent months with other companies and private equity firms, including Bain Capital, about a sale of the company or a merger with a peer, the sources said.

Technicolor has also been exploring a sale of just its set-top box division, which it calls connected home, the sources said. One of the sources said the company received non-binding offers for that unit earlier this month.

Connected home accounted for 1 billion euros ($ 1.14 billion) of Technicolor’s total revenue of 1.77 billion euros in the first half of 2018.

The sources cautioned that no deal is certain and asked not to be identified because the matter is confidential.

Technicolor, which trades on France’s Euronext and has a market value of 503 million euros, declined to comment. Bain Capital did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Technicolor operates two main divisions, entertainment services and connected home. The entertainment services business helps provide the visual effects seen in movies and commercials, as well as Blu-ray and DVD manufacturing.

In 2015, Technicolor acquired Cisco Systems (NASDAQ:) Inc’s set-top box business, a $ 600 million deal intended to boost its presence in the home entertainment market and expand its North American footprint.

But the bet soured as higher input costs weigh on Technicolor’s set-top box business. Passing these costs on appears difficult given the strong bargaining power of its larger customers and competition in the equipment sector, credit ratings agency Moody’s Investors Service Inc said in a note earlier this year.

Technicolor’s adjusted earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization from continuing operations fell 30 percent year-on-year in the six months to the end of July to 57 million euros.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.

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