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Smith & Wesson VP Charged in Federal Bribery Scheme

Discussion in 'Legal & Political Archive' started by Cougfan2, Jan 19, 2010.

  1. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    WOW! Just saw this on foxnews.com.



    Tuesday, January 19, 2010
    Smith & Wesson VP Charged in Federal Bribery Scheme
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    By Dunstan Prial
    FOXBusiness
    Federal prosecutors have charged 22 people, including an executive for gun maker Smith & Wesson (SWHC: 4.27, 0.07, 1.67%), in a bribery scheme that allegedly targeted foreign government officials.

    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.

    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, according to a statement released by the U.S. Justice Department.

    “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 assistant U.S. Attorney Channing Phillips in the statement.

    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, according to the indictment.

    As part of the operation, the defendants allegedly agreed to pay a 20% “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.

    Smith & Wesson did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
     
  2. twoclones

    twoclones Tri-Cities, WA Well-Known Member

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    Shouldn't that read "Payments to corrupt foreign officials... "
     
  3. PMKN_PI

    PMKN_PI Milwaukie, Oregon, United States Active Member

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    :laugh: :bluelaugh: :laugh: :bluelaugh: :laugh: :bluelaugh:

    Since when does this Marxist administration give a flying g-damn about the free market?
     
  4. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    When it's a firearms company.
     
  5. OPAWY

    OPAWY NorthCentral Wyoming Member

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    In all, 22 people were indicted from various armor equipment, firearms and "protection" equipment companies. Maybe these were crooks, doing what crooks do....
     
  6. Redcap

    Redcap Lewis County, WA Well-Known Member

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    Unfortunately...
     
  7. OPAWY

    OPAWY NorthCentral Wyoming Member

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    There's crooks in every industry.
     
  8. tallshipsgo

    tallshipsgo Springfield OR Well-Known Member

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    True. It's just sickening that it was S&W. Wouldn't be that big a deal if it was Lorcin. :D

    They'll be replaced with, hopefully, folks with solid morals and business ethics. Still love their products though, that'll never change.
     
  9. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    It's unfortunate, but with some countries and cultures about the only way to get business done is to grease the right palms. Hey, it happens in EVERY country to some extent. It's just more prevalent in some than in others. Ya plays the game ya takes ya chances.
     
  10. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    It seems unlikely to me that a VP of sales would have the authority to negotiate a $3 million "commission."

    This is one of those times when someone might "sing" for a plea deal, and the feds might take the deal to get a higher-up. We'll see.
     
  11. ZachS

    ZachS Eugene/PDX Active Member

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    Unfortunately for US companies, we're pretty much the only western nation that bans bribing overseas officials. Generally I think it's a good law (and there are plenty of ways around it for companies that have foreign subsidiaries and the like), but it does leave our companies at a competitive disadvantage when dealing with corrupt foreign nations.
     
  12. Gunner3456

    Gunner3456 Salem Well-Known Member

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    Gee, we have a culture just like that behind closed doors in DC. I was beginning to think it was normal. :D :D
     
  13. Cougfan2

    Cougfan2 Hillsboro, OR Well-Known Member

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    And the winner is........:funnypoint:
     
  14. Hawaiian

    Hawaiian Tigard Oregon Well-Known Member

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    If this was a real contract, with many countries the only way you would get the contract would be to pay the bribe. Not saying it is right, just saying that is how business is done in many countries.

    And it was not only S&W. news story
     
  15. SULLY

    SULLY Salem, Or. Member

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    It's a messed up thing. They grabbed all these guys here at the Shot Show. They are mostly the higher ups in the companies that got busted. This is the kinda of press the industry just doesn't need. I could care less what happens to the individuals involved. But I do care how their actions tarnish the industry in a whole. There were alot of people on edge here today.
     
  16. tallshipsgo

    tallshipsgo Springfield OR Well-Known Member

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    No doubt a bus load of feds running around the largest firearms industry show arresting folks had people nervous! I don't think I'd have been all that comfortable.
     
  17. clearconscience

    clearconscience Vancouver, WA Well-Known Member

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    This happens all the time how do you think our govt runs?
    People want bills/laws passed they "grease" the wheels of certain politicians and that's how we get to be a country that's run by govt.

    I wish the FBI would investigate our Congressman and Senate members they would have to clean house.

    Just look up the ABSCAM investigation of the 80s, and who was the guy that was involved in that, who rolled on his buddies just happens to still be in govt and has his own airport that doesn't do any business, but happened to get millions in bailout funds???? Oh yeah Mr. Dirtbag John Murtha.
     
  18. ob1

    ob1 49th parallel Well-Known Member

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    +2 on that one. This is probably a violation of a regulation that doesn't even exist in many countries. Total political motivation. Palm grease is SOP in many countries, you cant get anything accomplished without it. Foreign purchasing agents earn abysmal pay by comparison in many cases, "commission" is considered the only way to succeed
    An immoral act on behalf of S&W ?
    Poppycock ! A case of the pot calling the kettle black. If this weren't an issue involving firearms, but say, "green" parts for a windmill or a Prius, this would be termed an "eco-friendly" foreign trade stimulus incentive.
    Unfortunately, the US Customs and Dept's of State and Justice have targeted those in the firearms import / export trade back to the Clinton era at least. It's amazing that a US firearms business can stay viable at all in global trade with the B.S. the "G" spreads on.