James McCormick was charged with fraud today and is in a heap of trouble. For what you may ask? Selling $75,000,000 of bomb detectors at $40,000 each. Did I mention they were fake? The ADE 651s, GT2000s, and Alpha 6, 3 models of the same scam, where sold to various governments over the past decade. In fact more than 6,000 were sold to the Iraqi Army and very well may be responsible for casualties due to its lack of being an actual bomb detector.
^James McCormick a.k.a. A** Hole of the Week
They were modeled from a $20 golf ball finder and contained no working electronics. The strange thing is that the sales pitch itself seems a bit sketchy. He went “claiming they could detect bombs, drugs, currency and ivory, and track objects up to 3,280 feet below ground. -NYTimes” People actually believed it and countries actually bought it, even after an early model of this same product, the Mole Detector, was found to be a fraud by Sandia National Labs in 2002. They stated that “It worked as well as random selection.” How was James McCormick able to do it? Money of course! By bribing public officials not to look into it. Seventy-five percent of the contract value went into the pockets of Iraqi officials. Such bribery also occurred in both the Mexican and Indian governments.
The Sad Thing:
The FBI could have stopped him years ago. He tried the same scam in the US with a device called the Quadro Tracker. The FBI investigated him in 1995 and issued a statement that countries should not use the Quadro Tracker because they didn't work. Countries still used them and only after a retired FBI agent got scammed, did the FBI stop its production. No charges were filed and production moved to the UK under a different name, the Mole Detector. Let me repeat that: the FBI filed no chargers for selling fake bomb detectors.