In January 2010, 22 business executives and employees were arrested and charged with attempting to win a contract to sell a variety of military and law enforcement productsâ€”everything from body armor and bullet-proof vests to M4 carbine rifles, tear gas grenades, and armored vehiclesâ€”by bribing overseas officials.
Itâ€™s one of many cases under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act of 1977 that the FBI has worked in recent years, in close cooperation with the Department of Justice. But this particular one is significant for two reasons. First, itâ€™s the single largest investigation and prosecution in the history of the legislation. Second, itâ€™s the first extensive use of an undercover operation in such a case.
How sweeping was the case? Among those arrested were business owners, presidents, and CEOs from companies based in Arkansas, California, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and Virginiaâ€”as well as in Israel and the U.K.