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By | Joe Fay 16th October 2009 11:22

Couple arrested over $23m Cisco spare parts 'scam'

'It's mail fraud and money laundering,' says DA

A married couple from North Carolina have been indicted for allegedly running a spare parts scam that bilked Cisco out of as much as $23m.

Mario and Jennifer Easevoli, 33 and 28 respectively, and a third defendant, face sentences of as much as 20 years and fines of up to $500,000 if found guilty of running the scam.

The indictment, issued in September but unsealed this week, charges that the Easevolis created a company called Synergy that exploited Cisco's SMARTNet support and spare part service.

The service allowed Cisco customers to obtain spare parts without having to return failed parts first. The Easevolis are accused of submitting false claims to SMARTNet which shipped spare parts to a network of false companies and identities across eight states, created by the Easevolis and the third defendant. The parts were then sold on the grey market, with the returns being deposited into a Synergy bank account.

As far as the US Attorney for the Eastern District of North Carolina is concerned, this amounts to mail fraud and money laundering, offenses which attract sentences of upto 20 years, followed by three years of probation and a fine of up to $250,000 and $500,000 respectively.

The Easevolis were arrested in Tuscon Arizona in September.

In a statement, United States Attorney George EB Holding said: “When individuals resort to making their living through fraudulent schemes, all consumers pay the price. In order for the company to stay in business, they must raise the price of their goods and services to sustain their loses.”

The statement also added: "An indictment contains allegations that a defendant has committed a crime. Every defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty in court." ®

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