Trends in Organized Crime

, Volume 20, Issue 3–4, pp 316–337 | Cite as

An empirical examination of product counterfeiting crime impacting the U.S. military

  • Brandon A. SullivanEmail author
  • Jeremy M. Wilson


Counterfeit parts in the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) supply chain threaten national security by compromising critical military operations and placing the lives of military service members at risk. With the goal of illustrating the nature of the risk as it relates to types of counterfeit parts, how they entered the supply chain, and were identified and processed through the criminal justice system, we assemble and analyze open-source information on criminal schemes involving counterfeits in the DOD supply chain. We utilize the Product Counterfeiting Database (PCD) to capture every indicted scheme linked to the DOD and describe characteristics of the schemes, offenders, and victims. These data provide empirical insights into the counterfeiting of parts and equipment in the DOD supply chain. We conclude with an overview of key issues to consider when weighing opportunities for product counterfeiting as well as implications for policy and practice.


Counterfeit Military Department of Defense Supply chain National security 



The authors would like to thank Ross S. Militz and Kaitlyn A. McCullough for their research assistance on this project.

Compliance with ethical standards


The authors did not receive any funding for this study.

Ethical approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants performed by any of the authors.

Conflict of interest

Brandon A. Sullivan declares he has no conflict of interest. Jeremy M. Wilson declares he has no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP)Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA
  2. 2.School of Criminal Justice, Center for Anti-Counterfeiting and Product Protection (A-CAPP)Michigan State UniversityEast LansingUSA

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