Blackwater Fined Millions, Given 3 Years to Prove It’s Reformed
Friday, August 10, 2012
The private security firm formerly known as Blackwater, which is now on its third corporate name, has agreed to pay the U.S. government $7.5 million to avoid going to trial on weapons-related and other charges.
The company, which went from Blackwater to Xe Services to now Academi LLC, faced 17 counts brought by the U.S. Department of Justice. Among the charges were illegal equipment sales to officials in South Sudan before they officially established their own government.
Academi also was accused of not registering two machine guns with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. Instead, an employee registered the weapons with a North Carolina county sheriff, for whom Academi tried to buy AK-47s so the sheriff’s office was prepared to handle potential terrorist threats.
Another no-no committed by the firm was giving the King of Jordan, who visited company headquarters in 2005, several handguns, a Remington shotgun, and a Bushmaster M4 rifle without reporting the gifts to the U.S. government.
Academi will avoid going to court only if keeps out of trouble for the next three years, otherwise federal prosecutors will return with the charges.
The deal follows another, larger settlement in which Academi paid $42 million to resolve violations of the Arms Export Control Act.
To Learn More:
Blackwater Pays Millions in Arms Smuggling Case (by Spencer Ackerman, Wired)
Xe—Formerly Blackwater—Fined $7.5 Million over Arms Case (Agence France-Presse)
First Blackwater, then Xe, Now Company Is Academi (by Bill Sizemore, Virginian-Pilot)
Blackwater, Changing Name Again, Wins Contract from State Department (by Noel Brinkerhoff, AllGov)
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