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View Full Version : FBI Sting Nabs 22 People Suspected of Bribing Foreign Officials, 21 @ the SHOT Show


Para45
01-19-2010, 8:52 PM
Well this isn't good news. It's funny (actually sad and ridiculous) how these guys get nabbed for alleged bribing, yet Nelson and the other liberal senators got away hundreds of millions of dollars for their healthcare votes in the Senate :mad:

Note that Amaro Goncalves is the vice president of sales for Smith & Wesson Holding Corp :eek:


http://www.justice.gov/opa/pr/2010/January/10-crm-048.html

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASETuesday, January 19, 2010
Twenty-Two Executives and Employees of Military and Law Enforcement Products Companies Charged in Foreign Bribery Scheme
Defendants Arrested in Las Vegas and Miami; 21 Search Warrants Executed in United States and United Kingdom
Twenty-two executives and employees of companies in the military and law enforcement products industry have been indicted for engaging in schemes to bribe foreign government officials to obtain and retain business, announced Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer of the Criminal Division; U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips for the District of Columbia; and Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division . Twenty-one defendants were arrested in Las Vegas yesterday. One defendant was arrested in Miami. The indictments stem from an FBI undercover operation that focused on allegations of foreign bribery in the military and law enforcement products industry.

The 16 indictments unsealed today represent the largest single investigation and prosecution against individuals in the history of DOJ’s enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), a law that prohibits U.S. persons and companies, and foreign persons and companies acting in the United States, from bribing foreign government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business. The indictments unsealed today were returned on Dec. 11, 2009, by a grand jury in Washington, D.C.

In connection with these indictments, approximately 150 FBI agents executed 14 search warrants in locations across the country, including Bull Shoals, Ark.; San Francisco; Miami; Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.; Sarasota, Fla.; St. Petersburg, Fla.; Sunrise, Fla.; University Park, Fla.; Decatur, Ga.; Stearns, Ky.; Upper Darby, Penn.; and Woodbridge, Va. Additionally, the United Kingdom’s City of London Police executed seven search warrants in connection with their own investigations into companies involved in the foreign bribery conduct that formed the basis for the indictments.

"This ongoing investigation is the first large-scale use of undercover law enforcement techniques to uncover FCPA violations and the largest action ever undertaken by the Justice Department against individuals for FCPA violations," said Assistant Attorney General Lanny A. Breuer. "The fight to erase foreign bribery from the corporate playbook will not be won overnight, but these actions are a turning point. From now on, would-be FCPA violators should stop and ponder whether the person they are trying to bribe might really be a federal agent."

"Corrupt payments to foreign officials to obtain or retain business erode public confidence in our free market system and threaten to undermine foreign governments," said U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips. "These indictments set forth serious allegations and reflect the Department's commitment to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who try to advance their businesses through foreign bribery."

"Investigating corruption at all levels is the number one priority of the FBI’s Criminal Division," said Assistant Director Kevin Perkins of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. "In this era of global commerce, the FBI is committed to curbing corruption at home or overseas. Companies should prosper through honest business practices, not the practice of back room deals and bribery."

The indictments allege that the defendants engaged in a scheme to pay bribes to the minister of defense for a country in Africa. In fact, the scheme was part of the undercover operation, with no actual involvement from any minister of defense. As part of the undercover operation, the defendants allegedly agreed to pay a 20 percent "commission" to a sales agent who the defendants believed represented the minister of defense for a country in Africa in order to win a portion of a $15 million deal to outfit the country’s presidential guard. In reality, the "sales agent" was an undercover FBI agent. The defendants were told that half of that "commission" would be paid directly to the minister of defense. The defendants allegedly agreed to create two price quotations in connection with the deals, with one quote representing the true cost of the goods and the second quote representing the true cost, plus the 20 percent "commission." The defendants also allegedly agreed to engage in a small "test" deal to show the minister of defense that he would personally receive the 10 percent bribe.

The indictments charge the following executives and employees of the various companies in the military and law enforcement product industries:

Daniel Alvirez, 32, and Lee Allen Tolleson, 25, the president and director of acquisitions and logistics at a company in Bull Shoals, Ark., that manufactures and sells law enforcement and military equipment;
Helmie Ashiblie, 44, the vice president and founder of a company in Woodbridge, Va., that supplies tactical bags and other security-related articles for law enforcement agencies and governments worldwide;
Andrew Bigelow, 40, the managing partner and director of government programs for a Sarasota, Fla., company that sells machine guns, grenade launchers and other small arms and accessories;
R. Patrick Caldwell, 61, and Stephen Gerard Giordanella, 50, the current and former chief executive officers of a Sunrise, Fla., company that designs and manufactures concealable and tactical body armor;
Yochanan R. Cohen, aka Yochi Cohen, 47, the chief executive officer of a San Francisco company that manufactures security equipment, including body armor and ballistic plates;
Haim Geri, 50, the president of a North Miami Beach, Fla., company that serves as a sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries;
Amaro Goncalves, 49, the vice president of sales for a Springfield, Mass., company that designs and manufactures firearms, firearm safety/security products, rifles, firearms systems and accessories;
John Gregory Godsey, aka Greg Godsey, 37, and Mark Frederick Morales, 37, the owner and agent of a Decatur, Ga., company that sells ammunition and other law enforcement and military equipment;
Saul Mishkin, 38, the owner and chief executive officer of an Aventura, Fla., company that sells law enforcement and military equipment;
John M. Mushriqui, 28, and Jeana Mushriqui, 30, the director of international development and general counsel/U.S. manager of an Upper Darby, Penn., company that manufactures and exports bulletproof vests and other law enforcement and military equipment;
David R. Painter, 56, and Lee M. Wares, 43, the chairman and director of a United Kingdom company that markets armored vehicles;
Pankesh Patel, 43, the managing director of a United Kingdom company that acts as sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries;
Ofer Paz, 50, the president and chief executive officer of an Israeli company that acts as sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries;
Jonathan M. Spiller, 58, the owner and president of a Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., company that markets and sells law enforcement and military equipment;
Israel Weisler, aka Wayne Weisler, 63, and Michael Sacks, 66, owners and co-chief executive officers of a Stearns, Ky., company that designs, manufactures and sells armor products, including body armor;
John Benson Wier III, 46, the president of a St. Petersburg, Fla., company that sells tactical and ballistic equipment.
All of the defendants except Giordanella were arrested yesterday by FBI agents in Las Vegas. Giordanella was arrested in Miami, also by FBI agents.

Each of the indictments allege that the defendants conspired to violate the FCPA, conspired to engage in money laundering, and engaged in substantive violations of the FCPA. The indictments also seek criminal forfeiture of the defendants’ ill gotten gains.

The maximum prison sentence for the conspiracy count and for each FCPA count is five years. The maximum sentence for the money laundering conspiracy charge is 20 years in prison.

These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant Chief Hank Bond Walther and Trial Attorney Laura N. Perkins of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, and Matthew C. Solomon of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Columbia. The cases were investigated by the FBI Washington Field Office squad that specializes in investigations into FCPA violations.

10-048Criminal Division

ke6guj
01-19-2010, 9:09 PM
http://www.calguns.net/calgunforum/showthread.php?t=261005&highlight=bribery

Para45
01-19-2010, 9:17 PM
Shoot, sorry guys...dunno how I missed that...mods please delete.

MontClaire
01-19-2010, 9:17 PM
This looks like an entrapment. probably wanted to "catch" small fish to show they're worth their weight. I don't trust this to be the truth untill i see the ex president of haliburton arrested. i took the blue pill.

G-Man WC
01-19-2010, 9:19 PM
As Jack Sparrow said "Funny Ol'e world, ain't it"
http://www.shootingindustry.com/Pages/SpecRep02.html
You"ll notice that S&W is at the top of product sold in nearly every area. I know it's not up to date but you can see a pattern.
Years ago in the liquor industry if you were a buyer and agreed to a set amount per month at industry shows, you had a very good chance of sleeping with a Penthouse Pet and lining your pockets. -g

bigcalidave
01-19-2010, 10:30 PM
REALLLY smells like entrapment here. No foreign ministry actually involved? FBI agents offering a big deal and asking for the commission... Be interesting to find out how this all turns out.

davescz
01-20-2010, 8:22 AM
seems like they were doing bussiness the way most all goverments operate. so long as they are not bribing US politicans I have no probelm with it. if they bribe politicans from other nations to secure bussiness deals that keep Americans employeed, i can see no harm in that. thats they way it work here anyhow, look at all the union contracts with the federal and state govenements look at all the unpayable pensions our so called leaders have stuck us with, all becuase the unions donates to politicans.

If teh FBI was really doing its job, it would be protecting Americans from our crooked bribe taking politicians. that hurts Americans. (note recent bribe to gain union support on healthcare, union members exempt from the 40% tax) obama and pelosi should be behind bars.

.454
01-20-2010, 8:29 AM
I feel much safer now because this proves the FBI has the Islamic terrorist threat already under control.
OK, maybe not (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33678801/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/).

ZombieTactics
01-20-2010, 8:51 AM
This is part and parcel of how "soft-tyranny" works. Much of what is written in all sorts of various statutes, codes, regulations, etc. is completely inscrutable or so vague that it could mean almost anything or almost nothing. As such, we live in a nation where almost ANY activity can be considered criminal in one way or another. Most people are not aware of this, or disbelieve it, because the law isn't banging at their particular door at this time.

Note the politically-motivated target of the "sting" operation: guns & weapons. And even in this case, not the sale of illegal weapons, but rather the alleged bribery of foreign officials in legal sales of weaponry ... and not a single foreign official or government named. Can anyone honestly say that this is the biggest problem, the most pressing issue of corporate or government corruption of concern? Of course not, but it fits the political aspirations of the current DOJ: demonizing the legitimate arms trade, and manufacturing a pretext for international regulation and treaties.

Make no mistake ... your rights are being targeted, whether you choose to connect the dots at this point or not.

Aleksei Vasiliev
01-20-2010, 9:13 AM
I feel much safer now because this proves the FBI has the Islamic terrorist threat already under control.
OK, maybe not (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/33678801/ns/us_news-crime_and_courts/).

Multitasking is impossible, the Government can focus on only one item at a time.

Cool Hand Luke
01-20-2010, 9:41 AM
This is so stupid and hypocritical. Bribery is the only way to get things done in 3rd world countries short of brute force. But if bribing 3rd world officials is a punishable offense then we would have literally thousands of CIA agents and military officials waiting for trial right now, that had been based in the middle east. :rolleyes:

Para45
01-20-2010, 4:36 PM
This is so stupid and hypocritical. Bribery is the only way to get things done in 3rd world countries short of brute force. But if bribing 3rd world officials is a punishable offense then we would have literally thousands of CIA agents and military officials waiting for trial right now, that had been based in the middle east. :rolleyes:

+1 - no doubt, for the al Qaeda informant payoffs alone!!

thegratenate
01-20-2010, 5:29 PM
Unfortunately bribery is how much of the world exercises capitalism, which is what this administration really wishes it could go after.

.454
01-20-2010, 6:02 PM
Multitasking is impossible, the Government can focus on only one item at a time.

Exactly, and thank you thank you for your clarity. The government focus right now is to transform America in a socialist hellhole, Venezuela style. Everything else can wait or can be blamed on Bush (IE Islamic terrorism, Afghanistan, economy, jobs).

Telperion
01-20-2010, 7:06 PM
Looks like a blogger (http://fcpaprofessor.blogspot.com/2010/01/africa-sting-charges.html) did some digging and found out the unnamed companies from the DOJ press release.

With the exception of the S&W guy, notice how most of these appear to be principals in small, internet-based tactical retailers and consulting firms. The Feds managed to have chosen targets who are likely the least sophisticated in the knowledge of the law, and the least able to defend themselves...


* Daniel Alvirez, 32, and Lee Allen Tolleson, 25, the president and director of acquisitions and logistics at a company in Bull Shoals, Ark., that manufactures and sells law enforcement and military equipment;

ALS technologies http://www.alstechnologies.com

* Helmie Ashiblie, 44, the vice president and founder of a company in Woodbridge, Va., that supplies tactical bags and other security-related articles for law enforcement agencies and governments worldwide;

iShot http://www.ishot-inc.com

* Andrew Bigelow, 40, the managing partner and director of government programs for a Sarasota, Fla., company that sells machine guns, grenade launchers and other small arms and accessories;

TheGunSearch.com www.gunslive.com

* R. Patrick Caldwell, 61, and Stephen Gerard Giordanella, 50, the current and former chief executive officers of a Sunrise, Fla., company that designs and manufactures concealable and tactical body armor;

Protective Products http://www.body-armor.com

* Yochanan R. Cohen, aka Yochi Cohen, 47, the chief executive officer of a San Francisco company that manufactures security equipment, including body armor and ballistic plates;

HighCom Security http://www.highcomsecurity.com/

* Haim Geri, 50, the president of a North Miami Beach, Fla., company that serves as a sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries;

* Amaro Goncalves, 49, the vice president of sales for a Springfield, Mass., company that designs and manufactures firearms, firearm safety/security products, rifles, firearms systems and accessories;

S&W http://www.smith-wesson.com/

* John Gregory Godsey, aka Greg Godsey, 37, and Mark Frederick Morales, 37, the owner and agent of a Decatur, Ga., company that sells ammunition and other law enforcement and military equipment;

* Saul Mishkin, 38, the owner and chief executive officer of an Aventura, Fla., company that sells law enforcement and military equipment;

http://www.isds.co.il/eng/about_us.htm

* John M. Mushriqui, 28, and Jeana Mushriqui, 30, the director of international development and general counsel/U.S. manager of an Upper Darby, Penn., company that manufactures and exports bulletproof vests and other law enforcement and military equipment;

http://www.mushriquiconsulting.com/

* David R. Painter, 56, and Lee M. Wares, 43, the chairman and director of a United Kingdom company that markets armored vehicles;

* Pankesh Patel, 43, the managing director of a United Kingdom company that acts as sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries;

* Ofer Paz, 50, the president and chief executive officer of an Israeli company that acts as sales agent for companies in the law enforcement and military products industries;

Paz Logistics http://www.pazlogistics.com/profileE.asp

* Jonathan M. Spiller, 58, the owner and president of a Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., company that markets and sells law enforcement and military equipment;

* Israel Weisler, aka Wayne Weisler, 63, and Michael Sacks, 66, owners and co-chief executive officers of a Stearns, Ky., company that designs, manufactures and sells armor products, including body armor;

US Cavalry http://www.uscav.com/

* John Benson Wier III, 46, the president of a St. Petersburg, Fla., company that sells tactical and ballistic equipment.

SRT Supply http://www.srtestore.com/about.aspx

CCWFacts
01-20-2010, 7:56 PM
With the exception of the S&W guy, notice how most of these appear to be principals in small, internet-based tactical retailers and consulting firms. The Feds managed to have chosen targets who are likely the least sophisticated in the knowledge of the law, and the least able to defend themselves...

Yeah. It's the FBI being a bully.

With the only exception that I can see being S&W, these are tiny companies, probably "mom and pop" or "one man" Internet companies.

They're mainly not selling guns; just your regular tactical accessories. Belts and bags and knives and vests. Big woop.

One strange theme going through the list: a large number of these are Jews. It seems like they were targeting Jewish businesses.

And they're all small companies where the owners are barely able to survive, and then someone comes in and says, "hey my gov't wants to buy $5mil worth of stuff, but this is how we do it in my country, can you prepare the invoice like that?" And Joe Bob of Kentuckabama Tactical Accessories has never dealt with a foreign government before, has never heard of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), his personal lawyer has also never heard of the FCPA, and gee they are struggling to pay their web hosting company this month... The "tactical accessories" industry is nearly unregulated so they aren't even used to thinking in terms of regulatory compliance beyond your basic sales tax reporting.

So yeah, great victory for the FBI here, to nab 20 tiny struggling companies by setting up a "buy" that these companies would never be faced with in the real world.

The one guy at S&W should have known better, and his supervisors there should also have known better. He has no excuse, because it's a major manufacturer and should know the rules.

But Joe Bob's Internet Surplus Store and Bait Shop? The FBI should be ashamed of this. These type of one-man Internet retailers make little if any profit in good times, and with the economy as it is now, they must all be operating at a loss, and the the FBI comes in with an offer that's too good to be true, that will pay all their overdue bills... awesome victory!

These guys will all end up barred for life from owning firearms, and Federal felony convictions can't be expunged. They will need presidential pardons, which will never happen for them.

When you hear the call of jury duty... answer it!

A few lessons here:


If it sounds too good to be true, it probably isn't! It's easy to lose sight of that when finances are tough, and to fall for some offer that's a trap, but that's the time when the predators are most aggressive.
If you're in any kind of business, do legal research on things, and have a working relationship with an attorney!
It can sometimes be tempting to accept an offer from someone who seems sleazy, because the money might sound good, but those offers always come with hidden costs, and the hidden costs are always greater than the potential rewards. That's certainly true in this case!
Listen to your spidey sense!

Surf&Skeet
01-21-2010, 8:04 AM
Well, the Obama Administration has to placate the Brady Bunch, et al. somehow. They are seriously upset with Obama right now. He knows he can't directly attack guns because that would be the final nail in his coffin. So they are going to instill fear in legitimate business instead. I mean, why else set up a sting on legitimate gun businesses at this point in time?