FBI Sting Results in 22 Arrests for Foreign Bribery
Posted: Jan 19, 2010 11:09 AM PST Updated: Jan 19, 2010 3:34 PM PST
LAS VEGAS -- An FBI undercover operation has resulted in 22 arrests, all but one of those arrests took place in Las Vegas.
The Department of Justice says 22 executives and employees of companies in the military and law enforcement products industry are accused of bribing foreign government officials. Twenty one of the suspects were arrested in Las Vegas as they were preparing to attend the 2010 Shooting, Hunting & Outdoor Trade Show.
"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."
The indictments allege that the defendants engaged in a scheme to pay bribes to the minister of defense for a country in Africa. The defendants were unaware there was no real minister of defense, instead it was an uncover sting.
This is a list of those arrested:
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 Sachs, 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.