back to article Surveillance kit slinger accused of slapping 'Made in America' on Chinese gear, selling it to the US government

Staff were cuffed in a police raid on Thursday at the offices of US surveillance equipment vendor Aventura Technologies. The workers are now facing criminal charges for allegedly passing off Chinese-made gear as stuff built in America, and selling it to Uncle Sam and its military. Aventura has also been charged (PDF) as a …

  1. IGotOut

    Made In

    Yeah, we mark engine components with Made In Germany and Made in USA on them.

    They just add some tiny detail and there you go made in XYZ...

    1. TheVogon Silver badge

      Re: Made In

      So what's the issue? Chinese made kit is bound to be better quality than anything made in the US.

  2. Mitoo Bobsworth

    More Americans Get Arseholed

    Gotta love that US snake-oil. Fantastic stuff. Even works for Military applications.

  3. Schultz

    Value added!

    I am pretty sure that the sticker saying 'made in the USA' added a lot of value! By common sense, if most value is generated by the manufacturing process in the USA (i.e., putting on the sticker) it should be called a US product! :)

    But apparently, the FTC disagrees: if any significant part of the product was assembled elsewhere, you can't use the label. Well, there is common sense and then there is common sense. Tough luck.

    1. Chris G Silver badge

      Re: Value added!

      There's the crucial bit ' assembled' .

      As I understand it, you can buy all of the components for an item, from abroad and then assemble them in America and then legally slap a Made In America label on it.

      After 13 years I assume most of this stuff worked okay.

    2. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Value added!

      Outside the US, the "Made in USA" sticker usually means it's over-priced and poorly built, or on a good day, just over-priced.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Value added!

        Is anything electric made in the UK?

        1. Bendacious

          Re: Value added!

          I find that baking show quite dynamic and exciting.

        2. H in The Hague Silver badge

          Re: Value added!

          "Is anything electric made in the UK?"

          Test equipment: Wayne Kerr and Megger

          V high quality sound consoles: Cadac

          I think Siemens also manufacture stuff in the UK

          Possibly also Thorn Lighting and CCT Lighting

          AF Switchgear

          And others which I cannae remember as it's wine o'clock.

          Have a good weekend.

        3. phuzz Silver badge

          Re: Value added!

          Raspberry Pi? Well, for given values of "made in Britain".

          Also the McLaren P1 is hybrid right? Does that count?

  4. TwistedPsycho

    So what they are saying is that they would have preferred the company to import the components from China, with the same vulnerabilities, and hired a few US workers to assemble them.

    Then of course you can stick 'Making America Great.... Maybe' all over them.

    1. Oliver Mayes

      Ah, the Apple model I see. Import chinese components to a "factory" in Texas where minimum wage workers plug part A into slot B and apply the Made In Merka stamp.

      1. Anonymous Coward Silver badge
        Paris Hilton

        Surely if it's simply "America", rather that "the USA", they could do the assembly in Mexico (or even further south) and pay even less money?

        Probably need some other scheme to get around Trump's "great wall" tariffs in that case though...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Now you've done it.

        You will get a swarm of people defending Apple as true and great and the only real local producers. Even though there cannot possibly be processor fabs for them locally!

      3. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        It's not jsut the Apple model, it's the "pretty much every company in the world" model.

        Seriously, try and find a product made up of multiple components that doesn't have some parts made in China.

      4. eldakka Silver badge

        Extra points if the labourers in the factory are undocumented.

  5. Any other name
    Windows

    Prosecutorial pomposity

    "With today’s arrests, the defendants’ brazen deceptions and fraud schemes have been exposed, and they will face serious consequences ... "

    Somehow I always find these announcements from US prosecutor offices, carefully detailing the names and identities of the accused, the charges against them, and the maximum sentences they are facing a bit bizzare. Aren't these people innocent until proven guilty? Isn't it possible some or all of them have done nothing wrong (that's why trials, juries, and judges still exist after all)? Don't these announcement jeopardize their right to a fair trial by biasing their peers - the potential jurors? Even if they are found guilty, they'll eventually serve their sentence and rejoin the community - so shouldn't we make it a bit easier by allowing them some privacy where possible?

    So many questions, and so few anwers ...

    1. Giovani Tapini Silver badge

      Re: Prosecutorial pomposity

      USA has a legal system, not a justice system...

      Now consider your statements in this light...

      1. Alan Brown Silver badge

        Re: Prosecutorial pomposity

        "USA has a legal system, not a justice system..."

        ALL countries have legal systems. Justice is incidental and should never be taken for granted.

    2. Cav

      Re: Prosecutorial pomposity

      Agree with the first part of your post but:

      "Even if they are found guilty, they'll eventually serve their sentence and rejoin the community - so shouldn't we make it a bit easier by allowing them some privacy where possible?"

      If they are found guilty then they deserve the publicity and no privacy - after being found guilty. Not only are they punished but the publicity acts as a deterrent.

      1. eldakka Silver badge

        Re: Prosecutorial pomposity

        Not only are they punished but the publicity acts as a deterrent.

        Right, it also means anyone convicted of anything, however minor, is haunted for the rest of their life after release with it. Which means they can't get any jobs because they have a criminal record, not even cleaning tables in a diner. Which means they either have to live off other family members who can support them or, in the most likely cases where the family can't afford to support such a person, their only option is to return to crime as that's the only job they can find. Thus perpetuating the cycle.

        The reason ex-cons are more likely to re-offend, thus are automatic suspects ("the usual suspects") in proximate criminal activity, is that they have no other options, they are unemployable because of the way the US treats ex-cons, so their only viable option is to earn a living the only way they can, "work" that is criminal.

  6. DougS Silver badge

    I'll bet this happens a lot

    They just aren't usually caught. A small vendor like this doing it on all their products is an easy target. One of the big companies that takes a shortcut of using Chinese equipment to fulfill a contract for CCTV or whatever while having factories to build custom hardware like tanks or laser guided bombs would get away with it 100% of the time. Even if they are found out it would be handled quietly, to avoid creating a stink and jeopardizing the delivery of those big ticket weapons.

    1. Merrill

      Re: I'll bet this happens a lot

      Most likely they were not a prime contractor, but a subcontractor to a prime that needed them to fulfill their obligation to throw a percentage of the contract to a "woman or minority owned business". I wonder who they were actually supplying the equipment to.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    a scheme the US government says ran as far back as 2006

    I think the cousins got it wrong, there's this UK tech company run by a US genius friend of a current UK PM, a rented po box and an line in California, this has just been declared a viable, legit UK business, what's the problem with slapping made in USA on Chinese gear then?

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For some reason, this pleases me ...

    I can recall a lot of talk about diluting food labelling until it was useless, so that consumers couldn't swerve GM food. (Watch out UK, it'll be headed your way when you sign up with Uncle Sam).

    So for it to bite the government on the ass like this ... you reap what you sow, my friends.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: For some reason, this pleases me ...

      Not for me. I'm fortunate enough to be able to pay EU premiums.

      Only the poor that voted for Brexit will be subject to US high fructose corn syrup dreck. Which is fine because as long as there are no foreigners getting in, they will all be better off...

      ...until new trade deals are struck and we have free trade agreements with even more countries with cheap labour to offshore to.

  9. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Coat

    "some of the allegedly dodgy gear contained known security vulnerabilities"

    Ha ha ha ha ha haa !

    "some"

    Pfft!

    HA HA HA Ha Ha Haaa !

    1. MrReynolds2U

      Re: "some of the allegedly dodgy gear contained known security vulnerabilities"

      definitely not made in American then; or else it would _all_ contain security vulnerabilities... sorry government stipulated back-doors

  10. GruntyMcPugh Silver badge

    21st Century 'Nike Moment',....

    It's hard to imagine how, after Nike had it's 'Nike Moment', (and Apple similar) such important contracts don't warrant a trip to the factory, and given it was supposedly in Long Island, it would hardly have been an onerous task to go visit. Even if they were sourcing products that were declared to have been manufactured in China, the end user should still visit the factory to make sure it's not staffed by minors etc. There's no excuse for this really.

    1. stiine Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: 21st Century 'Nike Moment',....

      Ah, but child labor laws are enforced by a different department, the Department of Labor, so they would /never/ have been allowed to report on the Made in China labelling on the products even if they had performed a workplace visit to confirm that everyone was old enough to work there.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: 21st Century 'Nike Moment',....

      No air miles and hotels. Factory inspections are holiday trips. A trip to Long Island would only be of interest to inspectors from the West Coast

      1. Androgynous Cow Herd

        Re: 21st Century 'Nike Moment',....

        Not even that...

        Have you *been* to Long Island?

        1. Strahd Ivarius
          Pint

          Re: 21st Century 'Nike Moment',....

          I heard that they had some good tea ?

  11. Lazlo Woodbine

    Flakes...

    All what we got here's American made

    It's a little bit cheesey

    But it's nicely displayed

    Well we don't get excited when it

    Crumbles 'n' breaks

    We just get on the phone

    And call up some Flakes

    They rush on over

    'N' wreck it some more

    'N' we are so dumb

    They're linin' up at our door

    F Zappa...

  12. mikiep

    You know what ... they wrote the 'made in america' in chinese '美國製造'.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Geopolitical fails of all sorts

      That would be "美国制造". Note the simplified characters here, like they use in the great state of Social Credit.

      1. Any other name

        Re: Geopolitical fails of all sorts

        ... in the great state of Social Credit.

        That's yet another thing Chinese have stolen from us! (And no, the Albertan/Canadian version wasn't particularly nice either.)

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