Re: Follow the Money
A company I worked for, back in the 90s, bought some hard-to-find chips at an obscene price from a used parts broker (you know, those guys that come up first in a Google search for obsolete parts)
They installed them in the boards, no surprise, they all failed test. Come to find out, some bright light in purchasing couldn't find the parts in distributor stock, so he decided to show some initiative and used a parts broker. Last time we ever did THAT.
Another favourite trick of these guys, is to buy "failed test" ICs from salvage companies (or steal them from the manufacturer while they're not looking) -- these are parts off the chip manufacturer's assembly line that got packaged, but for some reason failed testing. They are then sold by parts brokers as the genuine item.
Several years back, I bought some RAM DIMMs from a well-known vendor. They were made by a company I'd not heard of before. They all worked fine, but all failed within 6 months -- too late for any warranty claims. I have to admire the skill of the manufacturer -- timing is everything.