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Cops, 3Com Roust Router Rip-off

Cops, crooks and cases of loot. It's about as exciting as things get in the channel. File this one under: When small VARs go bad.

Broward County, Fla., law enforcement officials this week arrested two South Florida residents who were allegedly posing as a small technology reseller to poach free gear from networking manufacturers, including 3Com and Nortel.

3Com's security officials, along with agents of the Broward Sheriff's Office (BSO) Economic Crime Unit, staged a sting operation to shut down the international scam that police say ripped off more than $2 million in computer equipment, mostly routers and switches.

Officials charged Kevin Dunn, 28, of Lauderhill, Fla., with organized scheme to defraud, dealing in stolen property and grand theft. Also charged was Dunn's companion, Tamar Richards, 27, of Tamarac, Fla., with aiding an organized scheme to defraud.

According to detectives, Dunn worked the scam by continually calling vendors' tech support for help with inoperative networking gear. The vendors would routinely ship out new units to Dunn along with return labels for the failed gear, which, of course, Dunn never had.

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