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Alameda County man pleads guilty to selling counterfeit nuclear submarine, aircraft and missile parts

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Alameda County man pleads guilty to selling counterfeit nuclear submarine, aircraft and missile parts

An Alameda County man pleaded guilty Thursday to selling millions of dollars in counterfeit parts for U.S. nuclear submarines, missiles and aircraft laser systems, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

Steve H.S. Kim pleaded guilty to wire fraud and trafficking in counterfeit goods after federal prosecutors said he sold $3.5 million in counterfeit fan assemblies to the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency, federal authorities announced Thursday. He faces up to 20 years in prison on one count and 10 years in prison on the other.

Kim, 63, had claimed the fan assembles he sold to the Department of Defense were new, when they were actually used or surplus items, according to the DOJ. He tried tricking the government by using counterfeit labels and fake tracing documents that were signed under a false identity, the justice department said.

Some of the fans were either installed on — or bound for use with — electrical components of a nuclear submarine, an aircraft’s laser system and a surface-to-air missile system, the department said.

Federal officials decried the scheme on Thursday, while vowing to root out fraud that could hamper U.S. military troops serving abroad. One homeland security official called risks to troops affected by Kim’s alleged scheme “especially alarming.”

“Swindling our military is a sure way to find oneself in jail,” U.S. Attorney Ismail Ramsey for the Northern District of California said in a statement. “This office is always on the lookout for fraudsters and will prosecute anyone caught cheating our military by providing products that endanger our service people or compromise our readiness.”



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