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SHOT Show:22 gun industry people arrested by FBI in Las Vegas-including S&W executive

FBI arrests 21 in Las Vegas in foreign bribery case - Tuesday, Jan. 19, 2010 | 11:28 a.m. - Las Vegas Sun



WASHINGTON, Jan 19 (Reuters) - U.S. authorities accused 22 people, including an executive for Smith & Wesson Holding Corp (SWHC.O), with violating federal bribery laws involving the sale of various arms, the U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday.

The indictments charged the individuals, including Smith & Wesson Vice President for Sales Amaro Goncalves, with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and conspiracy to commit money laundering involving the sale of items including guns and body armor.

Also charged was the chief executive of Protective Products of America Inc (PPA.TO), R. Patrick Caldwell, who previously worked for the U.S. Secret Service for 27 years and was the special agent in charge of the division for the vice president's protection.

That company filed for bankruptcy protection last week and sought approval to be acquired by an affiliate of the private investment firm Sun Capital Partners Inc.

The indictments, filed in December, were unsealed by a U.S. judge on Tuesday and follow undercover operations last year. The individuals were arrested on Monday in Las Vegas and Miami.

In the case involving Goncalves, an unidentified business associate who was a former executive for an arms manufacturer arranged a meeting between Goncalves and two undercover FBI agents who posed as representatives of an unnamed African country's minister of defense, the indictment stated.

The agents told Goncalves that in order to win a contract for the sale of guns he would have to add a 20 percent "commission" to price quotes, half of which would go to the purported minister of defense and the rest would be split between the others, according to the indictment.

Goncalves provided price quotes for two sales, a small one of 25 guns and a larger one with 1,800 pistols. He gave two price quotes for the transactions, including one that had its price inflated by 20 percent, the indictment said. (Reporting by Dan Margolies and Jeremy Pelofsky, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)



The FBI arrested 21 people Monday in Las Vegas in what is being described as the largest single investigation and prosecution against individuals in the history of the Justice Department's enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

Those individuals and another person arrested in Miami are executives and employees of military and law enforcement products companies who were indicted for engaging in schemes to bribe foreign government officials to obtain and retain business, the Justice Department announced today.

In connection with the FBI's undercover operation, 16 indictments were unsealed today. The indictments were returned on Dec. 11 by a grand jury in Washington.

All 21 of the individuals arrested in Las Vegas had been attending the 2010 Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference, which runs from today through Friday at the Sands Expo & Convention Center. All were arrested off-site at an undisclosed location in the city, federal authorities said at a press conference held in Washington.
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The investigation involved roughly 150 FBI agents who executed search warrants throughout the country. London police also assisted in the investigation.
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Those who were indicted and the location of their companies included Daniel Alvirez and Lee Allen Tolleson, Bull Shoals, Ark., Helmie Ashiblie, Woodbridge, Va., Andrew Bigelow, Sarasota, Fla., R. Patrick Caldwell and Stephen Gerard Giordanella, Sunrise, Fla., Yochanan Cohen, San Francisco, Haim Geri, North Miami Beach, Fla., Amaro Goncalves, Springfield, Mass., John Gregory Godsey and Mark Frederick Morales, Decatur, Ga., Saul Mishkin, Aventura, Fla., John and Jeana Mushriqui, Upper Darby, Pa., David Painter and Lee Wares, United Kingdom, Pankesh Patel, United Kingdom, Ofer Paz, Israel, Israel Weisler and Michael Sachs, Stearns, Ky., and John Benson Wier III, St. Petersburg, Fla.

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.
 

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What a black eye for S&W and the industry in general.

Hoss
 

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i wonder if that S&W sales exec was pressured by his superiors to make that sale...
 

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I hope the feds crossed all the T's and dotted the I's for a water tight prosecution. This will not look good for S&W. From an expensive suit to an orange jump suit. All for the love of money. What an idiot!
 

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WOW....unbelievable. I am relatively sure the Feds have this sealed up. The feds dont indict, unless they are 90% or more sure they can get a conviction. They are all about numbers.

Anybody want to buy some S&W stock?:danceban:
 

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WOW....unbelievable. I am relatively sure the Feds have this sealed up. The feds dont indict, unless they are 90% or more sure they can get a conviction. They are all about numbers.

Anybody want to buy some S&W stock?:danceban:

I won't buy their weapons, why would I want to buy their stock!
 

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I hope the feds crossed all the T's and dotted the I's for a water tight prosecution. This will not look good for S&W. From an expensive suit to an orange jump suit. All for the love of money. What an idiot!
Good to see that the feds are aggressively going after those who've created this financial crisis we're in and locking them up where they can't do any more damage....oh wait,...:blink:
 

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I lived in Colombia and Venezuela for 6 years and anyone who has lived or dealt with business in the third world knows that NOTHING is done without a little grease in the wheels. Sadly it is how most international business is done, and to not grease the wheels means you don’t do business.
 

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not good at all

shaking my head in disgust

how dumb and greedy
 

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What a laugh. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act keeps our companies from doing business the way it is done in many parts of the world. Meanwhile, our federal government overlords go around the world handing out billions of our dollars to bribe foreign entities to pretend they support the US policy of the day. I tell you, our government makes Alice in Wonderland look like a text on logic.
 

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Would the transactions have been legal and it's just the "grease" that they were stung by? I've always wondered how so many American guns seem to get into the hands of the BG's, both inside and outside of this country. Always wondered but never had time to research it.
 

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+ 1 tiwee

What a laugh. The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act keeps our companies from doing business the way it is done in many parts of the world.
Yes. I remember when this law was first past after some sort of "scandal." Missed in the panic to "do something" was the fact that in most of the world you can not do business without a little grease.

Sounds like an easy sting; and maybe some entrapment. Of course, the guys should not have offered the bribe since the particular law is well known within companies which do business abroad.

Have to wonder how much export business we lose as result of attempting to apply our business ethics to foreign deal making.
 

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Wether that is how things are done or not, it is against the law. So if you break the law, expect to pay the price. A corporate VP should have known better, unless he was pressured by his bosses.

Just stupid, and yes, a huge black eye for the gun community.
 

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I lived in Colombia and Venezuela for 6 years and anyone who has lived or dealt with business in the third world knows that NOTHING is done without a little grease in the wheels. Sadly it is how most international business is done, and to not grease the wheels means you don’t do business.
That may be true, but such bribes are illegal under US law, and those of many other countries, as well. I don't have a lot of sympathy when those who commit criminal offenses (and bribery is a criminal offense) are caught at it.
 

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So you would rather those jobs go to foreign countries that don't care about that kind of grease?Why is it even our governments job to regulate how companies carry out their business in a foreign country?
Also do you think it is a coincidence that it was carried out at SHOT show?This is just a way to discredit the firearms industry.
I couldn't care less that S&W or Colt or any other firearm manufacturer had to bride some flunky to make a sale.
 

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I lived in Colombia and Venezuela for 6 years and anyone who has lived or dealt with business in the third world knows that NOTHING is done without a little grease in the wheels. Sadly it is how most international business is done, and to not grease the wheels means you don’t do business.
Actually, domestic business is done the same way. Take a look at American politics. Try to follow all the "stimulus money" and see how much of it ends up in campaign donations...


And this wouldn't stop me from buying a company's firearms. It's not like they were selling them to people who had open intent to start a genocide.
 

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See I'm no lawyer, but I assumed arms companies had to pay foreign governments to buy their guns. I didn't know adding 20% or whatever for the gov was considered a bribe. Seems like that would be standard practice. Obviously they did something illegal, i'm just not understanding what exactly lol

maybe there's a member on here that's an atty that can explain it? :)
 

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See I'm no lawyer, but I assumed arms companies had to pay foreign governments to buy their guns. I didn't know adding 20% or whatever for the gov was considered a bribe. Seems like that would be standard practice. Obviously they did something illegal, i'm just not understanding what exactly lol

maybe there's a member on here that's an atty that can explain it? :)
Read this again:
The agents told Goncalves that in order to win a contract for the sale of guns he would have to add a 20 percent "commission" to price quotes, half of which would go to the purported minister of defense and the rest would be split between the others, according to the indictment.
The money isn't going to S&W or to the Gov't, it's going to individual pockets.
 

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Read this again:


The money isn't going to S&W or to the Gov't, it's going to individual pockets.

right. i understand that. it's going into the pockets of government officials. i would've assumed this was standard international business practices. shows what i know about international business practices lol (i didn't major in business in college, only took one business class lol)

thank you for clarifying, my friend. :)
 
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