Toms River Man Faces Charges in $35M Illegal Camera and Equipment Scheme

Chief Executive Officer of Lyndhurst Company Charged with Fraudulently Representing Compliance with National Defense Authorization Act

January 5, 2024

NEWARK, N.J. – Tamer Zakhary, the chief executive officer of a Lyndhurst, New Jersey company, has been charged with falsely representing to law enforcement customers that the security cameras and equipment he sold were compliant with the National Defense Authorization Act, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

Zakhary, 49, of Toms River, New Jersey, appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel in Newark federal court and was released on $100,000 unsecured bond. He is facing three counts of wire fraud and one count of making false statements.

The charges stem from Zakhary’s fraudulent misrepresentation to public safety and law enforcement agencies in New Jersey, including prosecutors’ offices, sheriffs’ offices, police departments, and townships. From August 2019 until December 2022, Zakhary sold millions of dollars’ worth of surveillance cameras and equipment, falsely claiming that they were compliant with Section 889 of the John S. McCain National Defense Authorization Act. However, he obtained the cameras and equipment from a Chinese company specifically identified in Section 889, which prohibits the federal government from procuring or obtaining video surveillance and telecommunications equipment from certain Chinese companies.

The customers purchased over $35 million in surveillance cameras and equipment from Zakhary’s company, with more than $15 million consisting of federal funds and grants. This false representation resulted in Zakhary being charged with three counts of wire fraud, each carrying a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and one count of making false statements, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison. Additionally, all counts are punishable by a fine of $250,000, or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.

The investigation leading to these charges was conducted by special agents of the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations Newark. U.S. Attorney Sellinger acknowledged their efforts in bringing these charges.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Amore, Chief of the General Crimes Unit in Newark, is representing the government in this case.

It is important to note that the charges and allegations contained in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Defense counsel for Zakhary includes Charles B. McKenna Esq. from Morristown and Matthew E. Beck Esq. from Roseland, New Jersey.

In conclusion, the chief executive officer of a Lyndhurst company is facing charges for falsely representing compliance with the National Defense Authorization Act. Tamer Zakhary sold surveillance cameras and equipment to law enforcement agencies in New Jersey, claiming that they were compliant with Section 889 of the act. However, he obtained the products from a Chinese company specifically identified in Section 889. The customers purchased over $35 million worth of equipment, with a significant portion consisting of federal funds and grants. Zakhary is now facing wire fraud and false statements charges, carrying potential prison sentences and fines. The investigation leading to these charges was conducted by the FBI and Homeland Security Investigations Newark. The defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

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