US Military Duped Into Buying Chinese Cameras Sold as ‘Made in U.S.A.’

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As of late, the United States and China have been at odds over tariffs and trade. Now, an American company has been charged with fraud after prosecutors allege that Aventura Technologies Inc. deceived the American military for over a decade after the company claimed the electronics they were buying were “Made in U.S.A.”

To make matters worse, the fraud raised by federal prosecutors has now put the government on high alert after it was determined that the surveillance cameras the company sold could be a potential means of espionage.

U.S. Attorney Richard Donoghue said it was “a grave concern” that the equipment was sold to the American military and “has been installed on dozens of Army, Navy and Air Force bases, Department of Energy facilities and, among other places, on Navy aircraft carriers.”

The allegations do not clearly state that there were any attempts to spy on military personnel by China, only that it was possibly “individuals in China were well aware of what was going on,” the prosecutor’s office said in a statement.

The suit also alleges that Aventura Technologies sold over $80 million since 2010, but $20 million of that was from military contracts where the company had to disclose if they were manufacturing in another country.

This whole investigation only came to be after a software analysis for the Air Force discovered downloadable images of the Chinese Ministry of Public Security on one of the 25 devices the military bought, the Military Times reported.

To make matters more questionable, prosecutors allege Aventura Technologies and, in turn, China, “had been aware that the U.S. Air Force was the intended end-user of the camera.”

As of now, seven employees of Aventura, including one of the company’s executives, Jack Cabasso, were charged with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud. This prompted President Trump to “ban American firms from installing foreign-made equipment that could pose a national security risk,” The New York Times reported.

This is just another instance of China and the U.S. butting heads. It possible this could become a bigger issue in the future and will most definitely be a point of conversation concerning national security.