British Millionaire Who Sold Iraq Fake Bomb Detectors Found Guilty
British businessman, James McCormick, who sold golf ball finders as bomb detectors to countries at war where thousands of people were dying and injured by explosives, has been found guilty of fraud in a British court on April 24.
McCormick, 57, reportedly made an estimated 50 million pounds ($76 million) from the sales of golf ball finders worth $20 for up to $40,000 each. Experts said the devices lacked “any grounding in science” and were “completely ineffectual as a piece of detection equipment.”
A former policeman and salesman, McCormick, sold the devices to military and police forces around the world, including Iraq, Niger, Georgia, Egypt, Pakistan, Lebanon, Mexico and Thailand governments.
Brochures made by McCormick advertised his devices as The Advanced Detection Equipment (ADE) sold by Advanced Tactical Security & Communications.
Fantastic claims were made that the detectors could trace “everything from explosives to elephants” including narcotics, different types of fluids, gemstones, ivory and hidden people. They were able to operate, McCormick claimed, through walls, underwater and underground.
When the scheme began to unravel over complains that the high-tech bomb detection devices didn’t work, McCormick told officials his devices did work and the individuals using them simply needed more training.
Detective superintendent Nigel Rock said the so-called businessman sold 6,000 devices to Iraq for more than $40 million between 2008 and 2010.
Haneen Alwan, an Iraqi woman who needed 59 operations after she was injured in a bomb blast in January 2009, told BBC:
“When people passed through checkpoints using these devices, they thought they would be safe, but they are useless. The man who sold them has no conscience. He is morally bankrupt. How could he sell them just for money and destroy other people’s lives?”
She was two months pregnant at the time and lost her child.
McCormick was found guilty of three counts of fraud at London’s Central Criminal Court. He will be sentenced on May 2.