The defendants, including founder Jack Cabasso, were charged with helping Aventura defraud its customers, including the U.S. government, by falsely claiming the products it sold were manufactured by the company when in fact they had been illegally made in and imported from China.
The U.S. seized records, bank accounts and a 70-foot yacht the defendants had purchased with money they made in the scheme, prosecutors said.
Six of those charged were arrested Thursday morning. The government alleges charges of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud and money laundering.
The company’s lawyers couldn’t immediately be contacted. A message left with the company wasn’t immediately returned.
Aventura, based in Commack, N.Y., provides video-surveillance equipment, according to its website. Prosecutors said the products Aventura imported from China and resold as its own included network security cameras and related equipment.
The company markets itself as a “manufacturer of security equipment, including network-linked security cameras and walk-through metal detectors,” prosecutors said. Its largest customers include the Army, Navy and Air Force, but it also sells to private customers, the 40-page complaint said.
The cable-programming giant said Thursday that it’s considering combining its suite of TV channels into a streaming service that would be available directly to consumers in the United States.
Discovery sees “an opportunity to take content on a broader basis to mount an attack on those who are not existing cable subscribers,” chief executive David Zaslav said on an earnings call.
The comments came with Discovery’s stock soaring after it reported third-quarter earnings that topped analysts’ estimates.
The new streaming platform would be a significant strategic shift for Discovery, which has been more cautious than other media giants in making its channels available to people who don’t get cable-TV subscriptions.
While AT&T’s HBO and CBS made their channels available to cord cutters a few years ago, Discovery until recently had limited its non-cable offerings mostly to Europe and to niche audiences. But like other media companies, Discovery is losing subscribers to cord-cutting.
Lordstown Motors, the electric-truck start-up formed specifically to save a shuttered Ohio car factory, has acquired the highly politicized plant from General Motors. The acquisition ends an era that began when GM opened the complex in 1966. The factory's fate was largely sealed when the United Auto Workers union was unable to convince GM to keep it in the fold as part of a new labor contact ratified late last month. The plant has been a political issue since GM announced a year ago that it wouldn't allocate future product to Lordstown.
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