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Blackwater successor fined for illegal weapons exports

Posted August 7, 2012

— The North Carolina defense contractor once known as Blackwater has agreed to a $42 million settlement with the U.S. State Department for illegal weapons exports and other violations, officials said Tuesday.

As part of the deal, Moyock-based Academi LLC will pay a $7.5 million fine, and the U.S. Justice Department will defer prosecution of 17 criminal charges and will monitor the company's actions for an unspecified period to ensure compliance with federal export laws.

"Today's proceedings conclude a lengthy and complex investigation into a company which has provided valuable services to the United States government but which, at times and in many ways, failed to comply with important laws and regulations concerning how we as a country interact with our international allies and adversaries," U.S. Attorney Thomas Walker said in a statement.

"Compliance with these laws is critical to the proper conduct of our defense efforts and to international diplomatic relations. This prosecution is an important step to ensuring that our corporate citizens comply with these rules in every circumstance," Walker said.

Academi acknowledged it was guilty of two violations of the International Emergency Economic Powers Act by exporting satellite phones to Sudan in November 2005 without the required authorization.

The company also acknowledged four violations of the Arms Export Control Act and the International Trafficking in Arms Regulations:

  • In October and November 2006, it proposed to provide security services and a threat assessment to the government of Sudan without obtaining a license from the State Department.
  • Between October 2006 and June 2008, it provided military training related to overseas military operations for military and law enforcement personnel from Canada without a State Department license.
  • Between January 2006 and December 2008, it provided technical and engineering data relating to the construction of armored personnel carriers to people from Sweden and Denmark without State Department authorization.
  • Between October 2004 and March 2006, it exported ammunition and body armor to Iraq and Afghanistan without a State Department license.

Academi also admitted to six violations of various federal firearms laws by possessing automatic weapons without registration or permission to five counts of lying to the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives about the ownership of five firearms that had been given to the King of Jordan or members of his traveling entourage in June 2005.

“This company clearly violated U.S. laws by exporting sensitive technical data and unauthorized defense services to a host of countries around the world,” Brock Nicholson, special agent-in-charge of the regional office of U.S. Homeland Security Investigations. “In doing so, company employees were frequently in possession of illegal firearms and aided other foreign nationals in the acquisition of illegal firearms."


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  • soyousay Aug 8, 2012

    Just read the news sometime or google "Drones kill civilians..

    so nobody else else the whole wide world? really really, might want to read something else besides that blog...oh and are you sugessting that the soldier piloting the drones are war criminals??? really really??? Following orders as an excuse went out with Nurenberg and if you think (loose term in this case) that it ias an illegal order up and down the chain, then you are callingthem criminals...oh wait you think that Obama is doingit himself...

  • gunny462 Aug 8, 2012

    "There are numerous cases. And I agree Obama is killing plenty with his drones. Both innocent American civilians and innocent civilians of other countries. No one is asking him to stop though.WageSlave"

    They've killed our troops as well. Also, I believe one rebel group in Yemen did ask us to stop because we couldn't tell rebels from the guard and kill some of them.

  • gunny462 Aug 8, 2012

    "got numbers on that"

    Just read the news sometime or google "Drones kill civilians"

    Yemen, Pakistan, Libya and Somalia

  • soyousay Aug 8, 2012

    The only one killing innocent people right now is Obama and his drones..

    do tell. got numbers on that? and how about the taliban? Syria (pick a side any side), the delusional skin head in wisconsin, the wannabe batman,and on and on

  • soyousay Aug 8, 2012

    Get ready sheep, it's coming

    not really all that original or particularly entertaining, you will not get many nibbles on that bait. Throw in some blackhawks, compounds and the da Vinci code

  • ontodanex1 Aug 7, 2012

    Blackwater had some of the best PSD in the world. Now, we are lynching the company because they did what the softees over here wouldn't. You should be ashamed.

  • fatchanceson Aug 7, 2012

    The only one killing innocent people right now is Obama and his drones. Worland

    With over 30 thousand drones here in American skies keeping watch on us! Soon to be equiped with weapons.... Get ready sheep, it's coming

  • fatchanceson Aug 7, 2012

    Who says a bunch of murdering mercs can't buy the US Government... New definition for Americans = self important, living in their own buble/reality with a don't worry me with the details attitude... as long as they can continue to enjoy the illusion of freedom through servitude, yadda, yadda, yadda...

  • bombayrunner Aug 7, 2012

    Lord of War.

  • goose42nc Aug 7, 2012