Search Warrant Served Against Distributor that Shipped Counterfeit Parts to the US Navy
On December 17, 2019, a search and seizure warrant was served at the California home of George Attar a/k/a Emad Al Attar, the CEO of Vizocom ICT LLC, after it was discovered Vizocom had sold the Naval Special Warfare Command (“NSWC”) 450 counterfeit Mastodon antennas, part number MD1008-1710-01, for use by members of the Navy SEALS.
According to the search warrant application, (“Application For A Search Warrant”), on April 25, 2019, NSWC solicited bids to purchase the antennas. In order to “maximize procurement opportunities for small businesses, the Rapid Acquisition Team responsible for this purchase offered priority to qualified small businesses”, instead of buying the antennas directly from Mastodon, which in the past they were able to do. However, because Mastodon was acquired by CACI International, a defense contractor based in Arlington, Virginia, Mastodon no longer qualified as a small business, creating risk for the Navy and an opportunity for Vizocom.
On May 1, 2019, Vizocom submitted a request for quote to Mastodon for the antennas. Mastodon quoted a price (including delivery) totaling $165,109.50. Vizocom then submitted an electronic bid via the government portal for Federal Business Opportunities quoting a price of $165,109.50; the exact amount quoted by Mastodon. In communications between Vizocom and the Navy, Vizocom allegedly led the Navy to believe the antennas were coming directly from Mastodon when, in fact, they did not. Instead, according to the search warrant application, Vizocom, “imported low-cost antennas from China and tried to pass them off as genuine using fake serial numbers and spec sheets”.
The shipping labels indicated the antennas were shipped from Alpha Antenna in Pleasant Hill, Missouri to the U.S. Navy in St. Inigoes, Maryland. The purchase order issued to Alpha Antenna by Vizocom requested testing, packaging, and sealing for the 450 antennas at a cost of $12,208.50. The full extent of Alpha Antenna’s role in this matter is unclear. What is clear is that when the Navy began distribution of the antennas to the end users, it was discovered the Vizocom antennas differed physically from the Mastodon antennas and they were of poorer quality. When contacted, Mastodon confirmed Vizocom never placed an order with them for the antennas, the antennas provided by Vizocom were not genuine Mastodon product and the serial numbers printed on the antennas are counterfeit. Mastodon filed a civil lawsuit against Vizocom ("Mastodon Design LLC v Vizocom ICT LLC”). Vizocom agreed to abide by a judge’s injunction and the case was settled.
As of this date, the investigation into Vizocom is open; charges have not been filed.
Note: On its website, Vizocom lists its business address as 101 West Broadway, Suite 342, San Diego, CA 92101. According to investigators this is a 20-story business district skyscraper. A digital directory located in the main lobby identifies “Vizocom ICT LLC” under Suite 300, along with several other company names also residing in that suite. The space in question belongs to Davinci Virtual who rents virtual office space to companies that do not need dedicated or permanent office space. The actual physical location of Vizocom is a single-family home, according to law enforcement, located at 1506 Constancia Way, El Cajon, CA 92019.
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Mastodon vs Vizocom
Application for a Search Warrant