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Military Counterfeiter Gets Prison

The fake goods were made in China and sold to the U.S. government — and many lacked important safety features.

A clothing and goods wholesaler from Brooklyn who sold counterfeit U.S. military uniforms and gear from China has received a prison sentence of 40 months after pleading guilty three years ago to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods.

The wholesaler, Ramin Kohanbash, had been directing the development, manufacture and importation of uniforms and equipment for the U.S. military from 2013 to 2018 and accumulated $20 million in proceeds. 

The fake goods were made in China and sold to the U.S. government. However, many of the products lacked safety features and did not meet certain specifications. Among the counterfeit products were 13,332 jackets not resistant to enemy night vision goggles and 18,597 non-flame resistant hoods for airmen in the U.S. Air Force to wear or carry. 

U.S. laws require products sold to the U.S. military be manufactured domestically. The law allows for other designated countries, but China is not on the list. 

In addition to the prison sentence, Kohanbash was ordered to forfeit the $20 million in proceeds and make undetermined restitutions to companies his operation victimized, one of which is a Rhode Island company that reportedly lost over $639,000 in profits. The company also said distributing counterfeit products damaged its relationships with military clients.

The scheme included two other defendants, Bernard Klein and Terry Roe, who collaborated with Kohanbash to provide samples of authentic military uniforms and gear to Chinese manufacturers. The examples included tags and labels with trademarks of 15 companies that produce military products. 

Once Kohanbash received the counterfeit products, he sold and shipped them to the military and its suppliers. Kohanbash and Roe also included fake certification letters that claimed the supplies were manufactured in the U.S.

Klein's sentence included 18 months of incarceration, fines and restitution. Roe will be sentenced on October 20.

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