A Somerset businessman has been found guilty of a multimillion-pound fraud involving the sale of fake bomb detectors to Iraq and around the world.
A jury at the Old Bailey found Jim McCormick, 57, from near Taunton, guilty on three counts of fraud over a scam that included the sale of £55m of devices based on a novelty golfball finder to Iraq. They were installed at checkpoints in Baghdad through which car bombs and suicide bombers passed, killing hundreds of civilians.
We have been following this story for years now since many in the skeptical community, such as Bruce Hood and James Randi, have spoken up about these dowsing devices being used to detect explosives. McCormick’s house was raided back in December of 2009. Ben Goldacre reported in November of 2009: ADE651: wtf? – Bad Science.
The ADE651 devices have no power source, no mechanisms in which to work, but they were marketed to military clients around the world.
The details that have come out of this article are rather astounding. An Iraqi whistleblower now alleges that McCormick bribed Iraqis officials. A former colleague told the BBC he observed McCormick creating accounts with false names saying that these officials “don’t care if people live or die”.
Sentencing will be May 2, and it is anticipated McCormick will appeal. But with the evidence presented, the case seems sound. And horrible.
McCormick was charged last July.
Fake ‘Bomb detector’ maker Jim McCormick and others charged with fraud | Doubtful News.
It was revealed that the devices originated as golf ball detectors.
McCormick fraud trial begins. Source of devices revealed – golf ball detectors | Doubtful News.
Yet he alleged he believed they really worked.
McCormick trial: He believed detecting devices really worked | Doubtful News.
McCormick, of Langport, Somerset, made an estimated £50 million from sales of his three models to Iraq, Belgium and even the United Nations for use in Lebanon.
[...] his main market was Iraq, where lives depended on bomb detection and where the bogus devices were, and still are, used at virtually every checkpoint in the capital.Between 2008 and 2009 alone, more than 1,000 Iraqis were killed in explosions in Baghdad. Thousands more were injured, including 21-year-old Haneen Alwan, who was two months pregnant and had gone out to buy ice cream when she was caught in a bomb in January 2009.
Expert evidence presented during the trial concluded that the ADE detecting device had no working components in them that could enable them to be useful in the detection of any explosives or drugs.
Det Insp Ed Heath of the Avon and Somerset Constabulary, the deputy senior investigating officer said:
“McCormick showed a complete disregard for the safety of those that used and relied upon the device for their own security and protection. He amassed many millions of pounds through his greed and criminal enterprise.”
According to those following the case, additional trials may take place for his other similar devices. They are also known as: Quadro Tracker, Alpha 6, MOLE, ADE651, GT-200, Sniffex, and PSD-22.