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January 19, 2010 

Twenty Two Executives and Employees of Military and Law Enforcement Products Companies Indicted in Alleged Foreign Bribery Scheme

The Justice Department announced today that 22 executives and employees of companies in the military and law enforcement products industry have been indicted and arrested in the largest single investigation and prosecution against individuals in the history of the enforcement of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).

Twenty one of the defendants were arrested in Las Vegas yesterday and one defendant was arrested in Miami. In addition, approximately 150 FBI agents executed 14 search warrants in locations across the U.S. In addition, 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.

The defendants arrested in Las Vegas were there because they were attending the annual Shooting, Hunting, Outdoor Trade Show and Conference, known as the SHOT Show, the largest trade show of its kind. 

According to the Justice Department, 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.

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.

A list of the persons named in the indictments are included in the press release.

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