March 27, 2011

Efraim Diveroli in Rolling Stone

A few years ago, the story of the two Miami youths, Efraim Diveroli and David Packouz, who won a $300 million dollar contract from the Pentagon for ammo for Afghanistan, which they fulfilled with illegal Chinese surplus, was a nine days wonder. Everybody was sure the conspiracy had to go right to the top! Cheney or even Bush's head would roll over this. I looked into the events and came away with a different impression.

Now, Guy Lawson has a funny story on this: The Stoner Arms Dealers:
"We've got a problem," he told Packouz, shouting to be heard over the restaurant's thumping music. "The plane has been seized on the runway in Kyrgyzstan."  
The arms shipment, it appeared, was being used as a bargaining chip in a high-stakes standoff between George W. Bush and Vladimir Putin. The Russian president didn't like NATO expanding into Kyrgyzstan, and the Kyrgyzs wanted the U.S. government to pay more rent to use their airport as a crucial supply line for the war in Afghanistan. Putin's allies in the Kyrgyz KGB, it seemed, were holding the plane hostage — and Packouz was going to be charged a $300,000 fine for every day it sat on the runway. Word of the seizure quickly reached Washington, and Defense Secretary Robert Gates himself was soon on his way to Kyrgyzstan to defuse the mounting tensions.  
Packouz was baffled, stoned and way out of his league. "It was surreal," he recalls. "Here I was dealing with matters of international security, and I was half-baked. I didn't know anything about the situation in that part of the world. But I was a central player in the Afghan war — and if our delivery didn't make it to Kabul, the entire strategy of building up the Afghanistan army was going to fail. It was totally killing my buzz.

As I explained back then, Diveroli's business model looked like it was basically the same as all those Brooklyn mail order camera stores: semi-bait-and-switch. Lure customers in with impossibly low prices, then fob them off with the minimum you can get away with.  His family owned a gun shop in LA that did business that way, where Efraim had worked as a lad. 
Packouz was about to get a rare education. He watched as Diveroli won a State Department contract to supply high-grade FN Herstal machine guns to the Colombian army. It was a lucrative deal, but Diveroli wasn't satisfied — he always wanted more. So he persuaded the State Department to allow him to substitute Korean-made knockoffs instead of the high-end Herstals — a swap that instantly doubled his earnings. Diveroli did the same with a large helmet order for the Iraqi army, pushing the Pentagon to accept poorer-quality Chinese-made helmets once he had won the contract. After all, it wasn't like the military was buying weapons and helmets for American soldiers. The hapless end-users were foreigners, and who was going to go the extra mile for them?

The only funny stuff that is left out is that Diveroli's uncle Shmuley Boteach, lately in the news feuding with his next door neighbor, the government of Libya, was Michael Jackson's rabbi, and that one of the edges AEY had going for them in the government contracting business was that they had checked the disadvantaged minority box for being Hasidic, although they weren't.

37 comments:

Anonymous said...

Efraim Diveroli? What is he, an Italian Jew?

Anonymous said...

Perfect.

Anon.

dearieme said...

"they had checked the disadvantaged minority box for being Hasidic, although they weren't": claiming racial privilege when it's not your due? Tut, tut.

Abe Fauxman said...

Yes, some Diverolis barely survived the age-old discrimination reigning in the Vatican State.

Anonymous said...

Great post, perfectly rendered.

As Henry Kissinger once said (in another context, about politicians), "It's just the 90% that make the 10% look bad."

Anonymous 3 said...

Hasidics aren't disadvantaged anyway, in any meaningful sense. Another triumph of the racial spoils system.

Anonymous said...

Efraim Diveroli? What is he, an Italian Jew?

Yes, or rather his dad was.

beowulf said...

Ha ha, when this article adapted into a movie, Andy Samberg is going to win an Oscar.
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/images/diveroli-muck.jpg

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/andy-samberg-snl-320.jpg

SGOTI said...

A fact to note that in ALL of the Federal contracting set-aside programs, there is only ONE (well, two) status that stems from something a business owner has *done*, and not a situation into which an owner was born: that is the Service-disabled, Veteran-owned Small Business (SDVOSB) and the Veteran-owned Small Business classification (no set-aside goals).

And of course Uncle Sugar has "had trouble" meeting that particular set-aside goal, or has double counted in more than one category (an SDVOSB and a minority-owned business counted in both categories).

Agencies say they don't do that, but they're full of s@#$.

Maciano said...

Talk about gaming the system.

Anonymous said...

All this needs is a few blonde Ukrainian nurses, and we've got a movie treatment!

Anonymous said...

Steve, I have a hard time understanding your obsession with Diveroli. If Jews tend to have higher IQs, one should expect the criminals among them to be more likely commit crimes than require very high IQ--like Diveroli's impressive scheme. Why not at least concede the brains and balls he used to work the system, which he was almost able to do entirely legally? Diveroli was pushing the limits in the already shady area of arms trading--shadiness that the U.S. government has repeatedly winked at. The fact is that despite his incessant pot-smoking he was still sharp enough to legally negotiate down the U.S. government (not exactly a weak party), which is a far cry from an electronics store bait-and-switch. What he was nailed for was selling Chinese-made ammo, which the article states he did only out of desperation to fulfill an existing contract (and was something the government had approved of in the past).

Also, despite your Judeomania, you failed to quote the passage in which the Jewish community came out in force against Diveroli: "...Diveroli came before Judge Joan Lenard for sentencing at Miami's gleaming new federal courthouse. The court was packed with his friends and relatives, but they didn't exactly give him the support he was hoping for. 'Efraim needs to go to jail,' a local rabbi told the judge. Even Diveroli's mother concurred. 'I know you hate me for saying this,' she said, addressing her son directly, 'but you need to go to jail.' Diveroli's shoulders slumped."

Not very clannish, that. And for what it's worth, the judge who sentenced him to four years in prison has a Jewish surname.

Dutch Boy said...

They should bust those guys for that crappy Chinese ammo. I bought some for my SKS and the stuff wouldn't cycle!

Anonymous said...

Steve, this is a personal message to you just because I'm an admirer and want to get the info to you: compound modifiers--e.g., "politically correct writers," "nearly anorexic roommate" et al. you do it every time--are not hyphenated when the first word of the modifier is an adverb ending in -ly.

K(yle) said...

He only got 4 years?

Oy vey.

Anonymous said...

"Not very clannish, that. And for what it's worth, the judge who sentenced him to four years in prison has a Jewish surname."

Not very clannish AFTER he got busted. Just as with Madoff.
Besides, as Hyman Roth might have said, 'he's small potatoes'. But is the Jewish clan going after Neocons who pushed this country into the Iraq War? Or are they going after Obama, who got US involved in another illegal war? Is the media going after the REAL big guns of the military-industrial compllex who are doing the bidding of AIPAC? Did the Jewish clan go after the real big sharks of Wall Street, who were no better or even worse than Madoff?

Diveroli has simply been Madoffed or Madoffered to make it look as though something is being done to go after crooks. But the real big crooks are not Diveroli but Pentagon itself which used people like him and continue to do so. Diveroli is a diversion, just like Tony Rezko.

Anonymous said...

If Jeff Spicoli had brains.

Anonymous said...

EFRAIM AND DAVID'S EXCELLENT ADVENTURE. Or is it more like ISHTAR?

Mr. Anon said...

"beowulf said...

Ha ha, when this article adapted into a movie, Andy Samberg is going to win an Oscar.
http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/images/diveroli-muck.jpg

http://blog.zap2it.com/frominsidethebox/andy-samberg-snl-320.jpg"

I thought the same thing. Samberg would be great for the role - he's funny, and this story would be best played as comic farce.

Anonymous said...

US government should get back at them by substituting their Kind--from Hawaii--with some cheaper stuff grass from Mexico.

TomV said...

Anon:

Steve, I have a hard time understanding your obsession with Diveroli.

I'd wager Steve is "obsessed" with this story for the same reason the Rolling Stone is: it's interesting.

Interesting like HBD, in fact, except there, too, some HBD enthusiasts suddenly lose their enthusiasm when when the topic turns to Jews. (Even the great Herrnstein was reluctant to mention higher Ashkenazi IQ in the Bell Curve.)

Is paranoid genetically heritable? I'd think so.

Dave said...

Steve,

You should read Freedom by Jonathan Franzen. A Diveroli-type scheme is part of the plot. Franzen actually makes it sound more plausible than the real Diveroli scheme, because in his book the schemer has a link to a neocon think tank (I'm assuming Diveroli doesn't have links to any think tanks).

agnostic said...

"Steve, this is a personal message to you just because I'm an admirer and want to get the info to you: "

Sounds like you're the one who needs to pull the hyphen out of your compound modifier.

jody said...

OT steve, but you should comment on obama's univision interview from monday. two things he said:

1) there's too much testing in US schools, too much testing is boring, and students should be evaluated in other ways.

so he openly states his position that the "disparate impact" effect of testing is something that he wants gone, and his preferred method is to eliminate testing in general.

2) he said he wants illegal aliens to succeed. he literally said that. that is not a misquote, or a quoute out of context, or an inference about something he implied. barack obama actually said, on camera, that he wants illegal aliens in america.

that's the president of the united states talking. i wonder what process a nation must undergo such that it's leader can openly state that he wants his nation flooded by border jumpers and he is not laughed off the stage.

i feel pretty confident now that we truly can write on this nation. it's over, and our time is probably
better spent figuring out how to deal with the new united states, rather than trying to stop the transition to the "brazilian states of south africa" which is where the great majority of our national level politicians want america to go. this fight is over, the process is too far along now, it WILL NOT be halted let alone reversed. no matter how much the guys at vdare want to keep fighting the good fight, they're now wasting their time. just give up. i'm totally, dead serious. give up on this. i'm starting to join the opposition in laughing at vdare. they're having no effect. they're getting their fucking asses kicked over and over and over.

sorry vdare guys, the president of the united states is strongly against you. so, you should understand, you're losing this one.

Anonymous said...

we need more and quicker content from you Steve.

Anonymous said...

It is not superior Jewish intelligence that alone accounts for their commercial success. They just have a knack for self promotion and marketing. (Sometimes it seems like every billion dollar brand in the US created by an individual from nothing was started by a Jew.)

What is at the root of this special ability other than intelligence?

Kylie said...

"we need more and quicker content from you Steve."

No we don't. We are here because we value quality over quantity.

A person could reasonably infer some very unflattering things about your personal life from your apparent unwillingness to delay gratification.

By the way, how much have "we" donated to this site lately?

beowulf said...

"2) he said he wants illegal aliens to succeed."

Are you sure he didn't say secede? No no, look I'm not an Obama fan but he's no better or worse on amnesty than Bush is, actually he's probably better because he may be the worst negotiator in the world.

The Republicans can pass a budget with more deficit spending (which the economy needs anyway with 9% unemployment) in exchange for mandatory E-Verify for every new hire and an immediate buildout of double fencing from Brownsville to San Diego. We're not building a railroad through the jungle, the Corps of Engineers can start construction in every county along the way at the same time.

Anonymous said...

we need more and quicker content from you Steve.

Yeah, make your interns work harder.

Cennbeorc

Anonymous said...

And for what it's worth, the judge who sentenced him to four years in prison has a Jewish surname.

You mean a U.S. federal judge is willing to put his name and reputation on the line by actually considering the facts in the case, like the fact that a defendant defrauded the U.S. government and committed a serious crime, rather than automatically ruling that the defendant is innocent because he is a Jew?

Wow! Who is this HEROIC Jewish judge? Can Holder give him some kind of special super-fairness award?

Anonymous said...

Jody -- you're absolutely right.

The election of Obama as President is proof positive that the country has shifted irreversibly to the socialist, multicultural left. All this talk from Republicans and "conservatives" that we're *still* a "center-right country" is preposterous happy talk. They're in denial. The "browning" of America is inevitable. We're done as the leading civilization on earth.

Anonymous said...

"there's too much testing in US schools, too much testing is boring, and students should be evaluated in other ways."

Boring: disadvantageous to blacks.

If blacks were all getting A's on exams, Obama would say testing is thrilling!

After all, he doesn't oppose sports recruitment tryouts. Why not? Because top scorers are black.

Anonymous said...

"Steve, I have a hard time understanding your obsession with Diveroli. If Jews tend to have higher IQs, one should expect the criminals among them to be more likely commit crimes than require very high IQ--like Diveroli's impressive scheme. Why not at least concede the brains and balls he used to work the system, which he was almost able to do entirely legally?"

Steve holds up Diveroli as an example of what happens when every immigrant ethnic group gets special affirmative action privileges: ethnic con artists get an inside edge in both public and private business dealings which can lead to spectacular gains.

As Steve points out, although the decidedly unkosher Diveroli doesn't wear a hat and beard, like his Hassidic kinsman, his scheme looks a lot like the profit model for crooked Hassidic run camera stores in Brooklyn and Manhattan. In other words, you can take the Hassidic middleman out of the shtetl, but you can't take the shtetl out of the Hassidim. No doubt many of the Russian oligarchs rose the same way as Diveroli, driven by a malignant passion for money while working some basic con well known to Rockford Files script writers.

That's HBD. And that's interesting.

Anonymous said...

Efraim Diverseroli?

Anonymous said...

And while we are on the topic of ethnic con men becoming obscenely rich doing shoddy volume work for the government,

"During the housing crash, it was good to be a foreclosure king. David Stern was Florida's top foreclosure lawyer, and he lived like an oil sheik. He piled up a collection of trophy properties, glided through town in a fleet of six-figure sports cars and, with his bombshell wife, partied on an ocean cruiser the size of a small hotel.

When homeowners fell behind on their mortgages, the banks flocked to "foreclosure mills" like Stern's to push foreclosures through the courts on their behalf. To his megabank clients — Bank of America, Goldman Sachs, GMAC, Citibank and Wells Fargo — Stern was the ultimate Repo Man.

At industry gatherings, Stern bragged in his boyish voice of taking mortgages from the "cradle to the grave." Of the federal government's disastrous homeowner relief plan, which was supposed to keep people from getting evicted, he quipped: "Fortunately, it's failing."

The worse things got for homeowners, the better they got for Stern.

That is, until last fall, when the nation's foreclosure machine blew apart and Stern's gilded world came undone. Within a few months, Stern went from being the subject of a gushing magazine profile to being the subject of a Florida investigation, class-action lawsuits and blogger Schadenfreude that, at last long, the "foreclosure king" was dead."

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110207/ap_on_bi_ge/us_the_foreclosure_king

David said...

>we need more and quicker content from you Steve<

What on earth?

I can't keep up NOW.

Michael Zeleny said...

Steve Sailer has repeatedly insinuated that Diveroli signed up his company AEY as an “ethnically disadvantaged small business” under the provision originated by the Reagan Administration, which made Hasidics into a legally advantaged minority for the sake of federal contracting in 1982. But the only source that he has cited in support of his claim says nothing about religion or ethnicity, crediting the explosive growth of Diveroli’s company AEY to its improper designation as a small disadvantaged business:

Legally anyone, regardless of race, ethnicity, religion or gender, can claim to have been subjected to disadvantage because of some personal characteristic, Otero said. But applicants for SDB status must prove economic and social disadvantage by providing a range of information, including financial statements and narratives. Many applications include as many as 1,000 pages of corroborating evidence of prejudice, and SBA denies nine out of 10 applications, Otero said.

From the evidence at hand, it’s safe to say that Diveroli somehow circumvented SDB qualification requirements to secure an unfair advantage against other bidders on government contract. It remains to be shown that he did so by relying upon, let alone misrepresenting, his Yiddishkeit.