McCormick fraud trial begins. Source of devices revealed – golf ball detectors

The trial of James McCormick on charges of fraud (for making and selling “fake” bomb detection devices) commenced yesterday at the Old Bailey. The trial is expected to take three weeks.

But what is coming out so far is not surprising and does not bode well for Mr. McCormick.

Businessman’s bomb-detection kits ‘were based on novelty golf gadgets’ | UK news | guardian.co.uk.

A British businessman imported novelty golf-ball finders and used the design to develop expensive devices that he claimed could detect explosives and drugs, the Old Bailey has heard.

James McCormick, who worked from a cramped office in Somerset, sold the devices to countries around the world, including Iraq, for as much as $40,000 each, it is alleged.

His publicity material claimed the devices could detect minuscule samples of explosives, class A drugs, ivory and human beings at a distance of up to 1km at ground level and from a plane flying 5km high.

As the lawyer noted, he must have KNOWN they didn’t work as he said.

The devices consist of a plastic handle and a retractable antenna. “The handle is connected via a wire to a pouch. In the pouch is a card that is said to encode information about the substance to be detected. McCormick claimed the device was powered by static electricity emanating from the user.” It’s a dowsing rod. There is no mechanism for this to work. While he made a handsome profit, people died.

For more on McCormick’s devices, go here.

Addition: James Randi, who played a role in exposing these devices, has something to say about it here. Professor Bruce Hood who also was a CRITICAL player in investigating McCormick currently can not talk about it due to the trial.

Tip: Peter Robinson

  6 comments for “McCormick fraud trial begins. Source of devices revealed – golf ball detectors

  1. Adam
    March 7, 2013 at 11:49 AM

    Randi went to town on this guy and I hope he gets everything that’s coming to him from this trial.

  2. One Eyed Jack
    March 7, 2013 at 3:32 PM

    He will get what the law allows. Unfortunately, that will merely be a fine and minimal (if any) jail time.

    Penalties for this sort of fraud are sadly weak, which makes it a very attractive business for the unscrupulous. As an example, I give you Kevin Trudeau.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kevin_Trudeau

    Each time he is convicted, he just changes his schtick a bit and keeps on selling. It’s almost like being a televangelist, e.g. Peter Popoff.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_Popoff

  3. Peter Robinson
    March 7, 2013 at 4:55 PM

    If he is convicted he will definitely get jail time. 8 – 10 years. Along with confiscation of the proceeds of crime. If he is found guilty this may not be enough, but it will be a major blow to a man who was living the highlife. There is a lot more news to come out yet. be patient! This could be one of the all time major legal victories against woo if the allegations are proven.

  4. March 7, 2013 at 5:03 PM

    I’m not so sure about that, from what I’ve read, if he’s found guilty the prosecution is almost certainly going to ask for the maximum 8 years for the 6 counts of fraud. Not nearly enough in my opinion.

  5. Rand
    March 7, 2013 at 5:29 PM

    What about extradition to one of those other countries he defrauded? Surely selling fraudulent merchandise to some of those other governments is considered a crime there? And if people have died, isn’t that a whole other class of fraud with charges somewhat more serious?

  6. One Eyed Jack
    March 9, 2013 at 8:19 PM

    The other side of this story is that the governments (and just about every government has done this) that purchased this crap should be red faced. Perhaps they will be embarrassed to a degree that keeps them from buying into this stupidity in the future. Hopeful, but not likely.

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