This week brought big news in the world of contractor misconduct: a federal sting operation nabbed a total of 22 defense contractor executives and employees for violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA). The 22 individuals were arrested this week and charged with paying bribes to an undercover FBI agent posing as an African defense ministry official looking to award a $15 million military and law enforcement equipment supply contract. The Department of Justice (DOJ) is calling it the single largest prosecution in the history of its enforcement of the FCPA, which prohibits individual and companies from bribing foreign government officials for the purpose of obtaining or retaining business.
POGO keeps track of FCPA cases in our Federal Contractor Misconduct Database, which at last count contains 16 such instances, so our first reaction upon hearing the news was to find out if any of the arrested contractor employees worked for companies featured in our database. Unfortunately, the DOJ can be just as tight-lipped and unhelpful as the Government Accountability Office when it comes to informing the public. Neither the DOJ’s press release nor the actual indictments name any companies. (The DOJ’s reticence might be due to the fact that, as mentioned in the press release, the investigation is ongoing, but providing the companies’ place of business and a description of what they do without identifying who they are just seems silly, as if the DOJ thinks its public disclosures are LSAT logic games.)
Luckily, our trusty pal Google helped us track down most of the names as well as a few other interesting tidbits. Listed below, in bold, is the information the DOJ provided about the 22 individuals in its press release followed by whatever supplemental information we were able to dig up on Google:
1 and 2 - 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.
are the company’s public statements about the case.
3 - 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.
4 - 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.
5 and 6 - 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.
7 - 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.
8 - 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.
9 - 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.
The fact that Goncalves worked for a well-known company like Smith & Wesson ensured that his arrest would garner the most media coverage. The company posted this terse statement about the case on its web site.
10 and 11 - 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.
12 - Saul Mishkin, 38, the owner and chief executive officer of an Aventura, Fla., company that sells law enforcement and military equipment.
13 and 14 - 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.
According to the Philadelphia Inquirer, the Mushriquis are a brother and sister who run Mushriqui Consulting L.L.C., a company that, according to the article, has only four employees but does business on six continents. The company posted this promotional video on YouTube.
15 and 16 - David R. Painter, 56, and Lee M. Wares, 43, the chairman and director of a United Kingdom company that markets armored vehicles.
17 - 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.
18 - 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.
19 - Jonathan M. Spiller, 58, the owner and president of a Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., company that markets and sells law enforcement and military equipment.
According to this “Company Snapshot”, there is a company called JM Spiller & Associates in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. We also found a web site for a company called The Spiller Group, which also has a Ponte Vedra Beach address and seems to be some sort of hardcore military/law enforcement equipment company.
20 and 21 - 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.
22 - John Benson Wier III, 46, the president of a St. Petersburg, Fla., company that sells tactical and ballistic equipment.
None of the aforementioned companies are in our misconduct database.
As you can see, there are still a few we haven’t been able to identify. Perhaps you, dear reader, can help us out. Please post your findings in the comments.
-- Neil Gordon