Final defendant in fake military gear scheme gets 2 years

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — The third and final defendant in an illegal scheme to supply $20 million worth of substandard counterfeit clothing and gear made in China to the U.S. military has been sentenced to two years in prison, federal prosecutors said.

Terry Roe, 49, of Burlington, North Dakota, was the manager of a supplier that purchased the counterfeit apparel from the other members of the conspiracy and acted as the point of contact with supply personnel at military bases, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Rhode Island.

Many of the counterfeit items, which were passed off as American-made and did not meet safety specifications, were ultimately worn or carried by Air Force personnel, prosecutors said.

They included more than 13,000 counterfeit jackets that were supposed to be made of a fabric difficult to detect with night vision goggles, but were not. Some gear that was supposed to be flame resistant was not.

For his efforts, Roe was paid about $60,000 by the leader of the scheme, prosecutors said.

U.S. law requires that uniforms and gear sold to the Defense Department be produced in the United States or certain other designated countries. China is not among them.

No evidence was presented to indicate any harm came to U.S. military personnel because of the counterfeit apparel.

Roe, who was also sentenced Thursday to three years of probation, pleaded guilty in February to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods. Restitution will be determined at a later date.

The leader of the conspiracy, Ramin Kohanbash, 52, of New York City, was sentenced this month to more than three years in prison. Another man, Bernard Klein, 41, of New York City, was sentenced in April 2021 to 18 months behind bars.

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