Fake bomb detector conman has jail term extended

Conman who sold fake bomb detectors to Iraq has jail term extended
2 min read
26 April, 2018
James McCormick has not paid back all the ill-gotten gains from the sale of bogus bomb detectors to war-torn countries.
McCormick was jailed for ten years in 2013 for fraud [Getty]
A British conman who sold bogus bomb detectors to war-torn countries has had his jail term extended.

James McCormick was jailed for ten years in 2013 for fraud after making millions of pounds from selling fake devices to countries including Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Bahrain.

Having used the spoils to live a life of luxury, he was ordered to pay back £8 million, which included the sale of a £4m house, an £88,000 parking spot and a villa in Cyprus. 

However a £1.8m shortfall has landed the fraudster an extra 842 days behind bars.

Police said they could still pursue McCormick if assets were discovered or if he came into money in the future.

McCormick is thought to have made £50m from the sales of the fake detectors.

During the 2013 trial, the jury was told the detectors, which cost up to $40,000 each, were completely ineffectual.

McCormick bought novelty "golf ball detectors" which cost just under $20 each, before selling them as bomb detectors for $5,000 each.

He then made a more advanced-looking version which he sold for tens of thousands of dollars each. Police said at the time the only genuine part of the mock-up - and the most expensive - was the carrying case.

Sentencing McCormick, the judge said: "The device was useless, the profit outrageous, and your culpability as a fraudster has to be considered to be of the highest order."

In 2016, Iraqis were outraged at their police's continued use of the fake bomb detectors after one of the country's deadliest bombings hit Baghdad's Karrada district.

Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi ordered changes to Baghdad's security measures, including withdrawing the useless detectors from use, after more than 200 people were killed.