It appears that Christopher Myers, 43, Leawood, KA, and Timothy Weatherly, 29, Overland Park, KA saw themselves as budding computer equipment entrepreneurs.
In 2003, Myers, got his vision thing moving forward when he founded a company called Deals Express in Merriam, KA. In 2005, Weatherly started Deals Direct, Inc. from his home - branching out, Weatherly added a warehouse in Merriam, KA. Wow - some folks start out in a garage in Silicon Valley and others begin in Kansas. Hewlett, Packard, Gates, Jobs, Myers and Weatherly. Different names, different addresses but perhaps the same drive and ambition.
Ah, the sweet smell of Capitalism!
Or, as federal prosecutors would subsequently phrase it, the sweet smell of criminal conspiracy!
From 2005 until November 14, 2006, Deals Direct, Inc. imported computer equipment from China. Weatherly and Myers had this interesting, almost edgy idea: They placed Cisco Systems, Inc. labels on the equipment imported from China. The problem was that the stuff from China wasn't exactly, how should I put it, made by Cisco. As with all great thinkers, the legal stuff may have seemed a minor detail - an obstacle on the road to riches.
In August 2005, Weatherly established a Web site for Deals Direct and began using eBay to sell counterfeit Cisco products under the name "direct2technology." Myers and Weatherly imported the fake goods replete with fake Cisco labels, fake Cisco shipping boxes, and fake Cisco manuals. Online buyers thought that there were getting the genuine Cisco product. They weren't.
After some of their counterfeit goods were seized in Wilmington, OR, Myers and Weatherly altered their shipping arrangements to avoid further detection. Among their changes was to ship the merchandise to an address in Portland, OR, and have additional goods shipped through other countries, such as Sweden. With their operations in full gear, Myers and Weatherly had the counterfeit components sent from China to various shipping addresses in Kansas including self-storage facilities in Lenexa, Merriam, Mission, Overland Park, and Kansas City, KA., as well as UPS stores in Seattle, WA. and Portland, OR
In furtherance of their scheme and scam, Myers and Weatherly obtained access to Cisco's confidential serial number verification website. That made sense. After all, if your customer is going to activate the counterfeit merchandise, they have to have a serial number to enter into the empty online box seeking those critical digits.
Obviously, because I'm writing about this, the best laid plans of counterfeiters and men sometimes go astray.
Starting in November 2005, shipments of counterfeit goods were seized in Louisville, KY, Los Angeles, CA, and Wilmington, OH. Counterfeit goods seized included network cards, connectors, manuals, labels and boxes. Perhaps that was the tip-off to Myers and Weatherly that there was a tightening noose. Regardless, they apparently didn't take the hint.
On November 8, 2006, a search warrant was executed at Weatherly's Merriam, KA warehouse and federal agents discovered hundreds of counterfeit Cisco labels, stickers, boxes, and documentation as well as thousands of counterfeit Cisco goods.
From there it was all downhill.
On December 3, 2009, Myers and Weatherly were charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of trafficking in counterfeit labels, and 30 counts of of trafficking in counterfeit goods. In a separate forfeiture count, the government sought a $1 million judgment, representing the proceeds of the crimes. Myers and Weatherly faced a:
On November 8, 2010, Weatherly pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to traffic in counterfeit goods and make false statements in order to smuggle goods into the United States. On December 9, 2010, Myers pleaded guilty to the same count.
On July 11, 2011, Myers was sentenced to 33 months in federal prison. (Note: Federal releases refer to "Myers" and "Meyers").
On November 7, 2011, Weatherly was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison.