James McCormick has been sentenced to 10 years behind bars after the convicted fraudster amassed a personal fortune by selling fake bomb detectors. McCormick's deception spanned the globe; he's believed to have earned over $77 million by selling thousdands of the bogus devices to countries including Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, and Romania. Records show that McCormick's business offloaded a large number of these "bomb detectors" — which in reality were modeled around a novelty golf ball finder — to security forces in Iraq, where they were often relied on at sensitive checkpoints. Prosecutors maintain his deception resulted in lost lives.
An empire built on deceit
"Your fraudulent conduct in selling so many useless devices for simply enormous profit promoted a false sense of security and in all probability materially contributed to causing death and injury to innocent individuals," said Judge Richard Hone. McCormick, the judge concluded, demonstrated a "cavalier disregard for the potentially fatal consequences" of his actions.
For almost a decade, as McCormick's customers unknowingly spent tens of thousands of dollars on a non-functional product, the businessman indulged in an extravagant lifestyle involving numerous mansions and expensive cars — at one point, he purchased three topflight dressage horses for his daughter. As McCormick serves out his prison term, it's expected that authorities will try to strip away a large chunk of his remaining wealth through civil court cases.