“Lad of War”: Administration Gave 22-Year-Old’s Company $200 Million for Faulty Chinese Ammunition

artefraimdiveroliwplg.jpgCongress is set to investigate a contract under which the Defense Department contracted with 22-year-old Efraim E. Diveroli’s AEY Inc. for $200 million to supply ammunition to the Afghan Army and police. Instead of supplying Hungarian bullets, the company allegedly committed a series of false statements to supply shoddy Chinese products.

This case is likely to turn from a political scandal to a legal case quickly. There are limitations on arms trading with China. Moreover, there is simple contract fraud that will likely be raised. Putting aside the age of Mr. Diveroli, it is notably that this company appears to have been founded by his father as a small printing business which gives the controversy a “Lord of War” flavor.

It also appears that the 22-year-old had a 25-year-old vice president.

His grandfather told WPLG that Diveroli is now in Turkey or Albania doing his “patriotic” duty. “He’s all over the world getting what the military needs,” Angelo Diveroli says.

But in a MySpace message exchange with Radar magazine, a person thought to be David Packouz, a 25-year-old who was AEY’s vice president, refers to Efraim Diveroli as “my former scumbag partner” and says he is motivated by money.

Click here for the grandfather’s interview.

Both the Army and House Oversight Committee are investigating.

For the full story, click here.

25 thoughts on ““Lad of War”: Administration Gave 22-Year-Old’s Company $200 Million for Faulty Chinese Ammunition”

  1. Detroit Sam,

    You have skills.

    I view niblet as a conduit for rightist memes. I wonder if this latest about Democrat congressmen portends the newest attempt to blame the war…on the Democrats! If so, it is laughably weak.

  2. Yes niblet, we know.

    The Democrats did it.

    The Clintons did it.

    Code Pink did it.

    The Quakers did it.

    The wounded Iraqi vets did it.

    Yeah, we know.

  3. VC,

    “subrosa conflicts of interest”

    that may be whats in the freezer.

    We will see how this plays out. At the very minimum we will get the information on who evaluated the bids. We then will see them called to testify and thats when it will get interesting.

    Go Davidson!!

  4. I don’t doubt some Democrats out there are sitting on a pile of Saddam’s loot they got for giving him information on America. Just look at the three stooges, McDermitt, Bonier, and Thompson that ran to Bagdad on three days notice after Saddam beckoned. If anybody is responsible for the invasion of Iraq, it is anybody that tacitly gave Saddam the impression he could bribe, delay, and lie his way out of having to live with 17 UN Resolutions.

  5. DW: I would be thrilled if that were the case. Alas, I wouldn’t be putting money on it.

    My cynical guess at a scenario: Someone had a hook, as we used to say. This is going to lead to someone’s freezer in Washington. To that I would invest a few quid.

  6. Ok, on a serious note.

    What the developing story will reveal, I confidently predict, is that the bid AEY submitted was evaluated by a third party contractor hired to do such evaluations.

    Your government may have not made the decision. A private contractor may have, and made the recommendation to the procurement officer and that’s the way a huge amount of bids are awarded nowadays.

    Your average citizen believes we are still doing things the old way. An O6 sitting in an office somewhere in the Pentagon looks at a stack of bids and rationally and impartially chooses the “best” one.

    Not always. Such work is often performed by outside contractors who often as not may have subrosa conflicts of interest.

    http://www.govexec.com/story_page.cfm?articleid=39586&ref=rellink

  7. I know. I know.

    All my grant proposals to harvest brain tissue from House Republicans have met with rejections from the NSF.

    How can Science advance at this rate?!

  8. DW:

    I know. Every time I ask for even a million, the government gets all snotty.

  9. How in the world did this young individual get a 200 million DOD contract?????

    The last time I checked, such bids required extensive disclosure.

  10. Is it wrong that I aspire to be an arms dealer? So sleazy yet so profitable yet so evil yet sooooooo profitable… 🙂 I personally was ripped off by some sleazebag in Florida who bought a couple million stolen credit card records then sold it to a somewhat reputable marketing slimeball who then flipped around and sold it to some quasi-respectable companies. Perhaps I should forgo the vagaries of law school and instead set up shop in Florida.

  11. I really don’t mean to “hog the blog” but this is priceless. According to our young entrepreneur, Efraim E. Diveroli’s, MySpace page, his favorite movies are,in order: Heat, Blow and Scarface. Seems that his fantastic yearnings about gangsters have now become ra eality. I did learn that he is a “super nice guy” and can’t cook. Attributes that will serve him well in federal prison.

    See it for yourself:
    http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=31397346

  12. To all:

    Here’s a little update from The Guardian newspaper:

    “The Pentagon entrusted a 22-year-old previously arrested for domestic violence and having a forged driving licence to be the main supplier of ammunition to Afghan forces at the height of the battle against the Taliban, it was reported yesterday.

    AEY, essentially a one-man operation based in an unmarked office in Miami Beach, Florida, was awarded a contract worth $300m (£150m) to supply the Afghan army and police in January last year. But as the New York Times reported in a lengthy investigation, AEY’s president, Efraim Diversoli, 22, supplied stock that was 40 years old and rotting packing material.

    “Much of the ammunition comes from the ageing stockpiles of the old communist bloc, including stockpiles that the state department and Nato have determined to be unreliable and obsolete, and have spent millions of dollars to have destroyed,” the paper said.”

    To all but kermudgeon:
    The webpage for the article is:
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2008/mar/28/afghanistan.usa

  13. rcambell: quoting from the NYT? LOL. I didn’t even know they were still in business…

  14. Where it’s always a good idea to keep an open mind in criminal cases, I clipped the snippet below from the NYT article about this case. It appears on the surface that it might take a bit more than two attorneys and your sarcasm to get this young “entrepeneur” out of the jam he created for himself.

    Entrepeneur, is that what righties call business people who cheat the government, engage in war profiteering and jeopardize US allies’ and potentially US soldiers lives? Let’s see, no-bid contracts to Halliburton who gave foul water to US troops in Iraq or the indiscriminate mercenary murderers/rapists of Blackwater–I guess the answer is yes.

    From NYT

    “….Much of the ammunition comes from the aging stockpiles of the old Communist bloc, including stockpiles that the State Department and NATO have determined to be unreliable and obsolete, and have spent millions of dollars to have destroyed.

    In purchasing munitions, the contractor has also worked with middlemen and a shell company on a federal list of entities suspected of illegal arms trafficking.

    Moreover, tens of millions of the rifle and machine-gun cartridges were manufactured in China, making their procurement a possible violation of American law. The company’s president, Efraim E. Diveroli, was also secretly recorded in a conversation that suggested corruption in his company’s purchase of more than 100 million aging rounds in Albania, according to audio files of the conversation.

    But I could be wrong.

  15. kermudgeon:

    Do you think the contract specs called for 40 year old Chinese ammo rather than new Hungarian rounds? If not, he’s a fraud. Plus, I guess you missed the part in the article where it clearly indicated the ammo was “corroded,” and judging by its age, could have been used against American vessels by the NVA in the Gulf of Tonkin. Nothing gives you confidence on a battlefield like legitimate worries about your ammo. Must you really read only those parts you like. Try the entire article occasionally. It saves a lot of embarrassment.

  16. Misleading title. The ammunition was not faulty, it was old but old ammunition, even 40 years such as some of this was, is not a problem as far as servicability. The Chinese government would hardly arm its own military with 7.62 “shoddy” ammunition.

    The problem is it WAS from China. The packaging had deteriorated which drew attention to it. Had this ammunition been repackaged I doubt if anyone would have ever noticed.

    Interesting how the left celebrates a celebrity such as the Girls Gone Wild founder who ends up in jail, but a young entrepaneur is considered guilty before there is even a trial.

    This doesn’t sound like anything a team of 2 $500 an hour attorneys can’t get him out of…….but I could be wrong.

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