NEC account manager charged in Cisco replacement parts fraud

A 40-year-old NEC account manager has been charged with mail fraud for allegedly obtaining replacement networking parts from Cisco using bogus names, the U.S. Department of Justice said Wednesday.

Craig A. Stanland of Stamford, Connecticut, is accused of making hundreds of false warranty claims online to Cisco to replace supposedly defective networking parts, which cost between $500 and $8,600. He was arrested on Oct. 1, and a criminal complaint was unsealed on Monday, the DOJ said in a news release.

Stanland is believed to be an enterprise account manager for NEC, a Cisco partner, who helped NEC customers with service contracts, including obtaining new parts, according to an FBI affidavit in Stanland's court file. Most of the Cisco products that were part of the investigation were originally sold to NEC, according to the document.

"As an NEC account manager, Stanland would have had access to those covered parts' serial numbers (here, the chassis serial numbers), which are necessary in order to purchase the service contract," the affidavit reads.

Stanland allegedly made between one and 10 claims a day between three and five days a week. Cisco shipped more than 400 parts to two post office boxes in Greenwich as well as Stanland's home and his wife's business in Brooklyn, prosecutors allege.

Stanland, who is accused of running the fraud for about a year, controlled 14 service contracts for Cisco networking parts. The aliases he used included Alan Johnston of Opex Solutions, Kyle Booker of KLB Networks, Steve Jones of SHO Networks, Robert Johnson of Adaptations and Paul Smith of PS Solutions, the DOJ said.

He was expected to return defective parts to Cisco in exchange for new ones, but instead sent back off-brand third-party parts or none at all, the DOJ alleged. Cisco usually shipped the replacement parts before receiving the defective ones, according to the affidavit.

Stanland, who is free on a US$100,000 bond, could face a maximum of 20 years in prison if convicted of mail fraud.

Send news tips and comments to jeremy_kirk@idg.com. Follow me on Twitter: @jeremy_kirk

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