United States Attorney William M. McSwain announced that Jerel Andre Williams, 37, of Mansfield, Texas, was charged with nine counts of mail fraud and 2 counts of filing a false tax return.
Prosecutors said the scheme involved shipping products to Wilmington.
it is alleged that Williams defrauded Cisco Systems Inc. (“Cisco”), by engaging in a sophisticated warranty fraud scheme.
The charges state that Williams and a partner obtained serial numbers to products manufactured by tech giant Cisco.
He then allegedly utilized false email addresses and false names to submit false warranty claims to Cisco using those serial numbers, pretending to own Cisco products that were under warranty and supposedly not functioning.
Next, Williams provided Cisco customer service representatives with descriptions of the non-existent defects that he knew could not be solved by troubleshooting and would, therefore, require replacement with new products. Cisco shipped the replacement products to Williams and his co-schemer on the expectation that the defective products would be returned.
The charges allege that Williams and his co-schemer successfully obtained 157 warranty replacement products from Cisco each with a retail value of between $3,693 and $34,500.
They had the products shipped to addresses throughout the United States, including in Wynnewood, PA; Cherry Hill, NJ; Wilmington; Las Vegas, NV, and Dallas, TX.
Williams and an unnamed individual then traveled to these addresses, picked up the products, and resold them to computer resellers. Williams allegedly failed to return the supposedly defective Cisco products, despite his promises to do so, since he never owned them in the first place, prosecutors stated.
In addition, the information also alleges that the defendant filed false tax returns for tax years 2015 and 2016 in which he underreported his gross receipts by $284,741 and $349,177, respectively.