Businessman "sold golf ball finding machines as bomb detection devices for thousands of dollars each"

Businessman 'sold golf ball finding machines as bomb detection devices for thousands of dollars each'
James McCormick, 56, denies three counts of fraud at the Old Bailey
He is accused of marketing Advanced Detection Equipment to the military and governments around the world that were little more than golf ball findersThe models sold for between $5,000 and $40,0000 each
Claimed they could detect bombs from planes and underwater, court told

By
Becky Evans

PUBLISHED:

14:11 GMT, 7 March 2013

|

UPDATED:

18:27 GMT, 7 March 2013


Trial: James McCormick who is accused of marketing fake bomb detectors denies three counts of fraud at the Old Bailey

Trial: James McCormick who is accused of marketing fake bomb detectors denies three counts of fraud at the Old Bailey

A businessman sold bomb detection devices for up to $40,000 that were little more than golf ball finders, a court has heard today.

'Fantastic' claims were made about the fake detectors marketed by James McCormick, 56, but had no grounding in science and were bought for 'handsome' sums, the Old Bailey was told.

McCormick’s Advanced Detection
Equipment was marketed to the military, governments and police forces
around the world.

McCormick, of Langport, Somerset, denies three counts of fraud at the Old Bailey.

Prosecutors told the court that the devices did not work and were no better than trying to detect explosives at random.

Brochures featuring men in military-type
outfits promised detection of substances from planes, underwater,
underground and through walls, said Richard Whittam QC, prosecuting.

But the three models, the ADE650, 651 and 101, were shams and did not work, he added.

He said the 651
model could be sold for as much as $40,000.

The forerunner of the 101, the 100, 'was actually a golfball finder that could be purchased in the USA for
less than 20 US dollars', he said.

Mr Whittam said the devices were variously marketed as being able to detect all kinds of explosives, including TNT, drugs and even ivory, fluids and human beings.

They claimed to be able to bypass 'all known forms of concealment' and be able to detect at distances.

But Mr Whittam added: 'The devices did not work and he knew they did not work.

Device: The Advanced Detection Equipment 651 was sold for tens of thousands of dollars

Device: The Advanced Detection Equipment 651 was sold for tens of thousands of dollars

Contract: Iraqi soldiers use an ADE 651 bomb detector at a checks

Contract: Iraqi soldiers use an ADE 651 bomb detector at a checks during a security checkpoint mission in Abu T'Shir, Iraq, in 2008. McCormick said he obtained a large contract with the Iraqi government

'He had them manufactured so that they
could be sold – and despite the fact they did not work, people bought
them for a handsome but unwarranted profit.

'He
made them knowing that they were going to be sold as something that it
was claimed was simply fantastic. You may think those claims are
incredible.'

Experts had examined the three models and would be giving evidence.

In their opinion, the 651, which replaced the 650, 'lacks any grounding in science, nor does it work in accordance with the known laws of physics.

'The ADE 651 is completely ineffectual as a piece of detection equipment,' Mr Whittam said.

The devices were sold by McCormick and his companies along with training and 'sensor cards', the court heard.

Mr
Whittam told the jury McCormick bought 300 Golfinder novelty machines
for finding golf balls from the US between 2005 and 2006.

Model: The Advanced Detection Equipment 651. Prosecutors said the devices were little more than golf ball finders

Model: Advanced Detection Equipment 651. Prosecutors said the devices were little more than golf ball finders

Exclusive: The Circus in Bath where McCormick owned a terraced house

Exclusive: The Circus in Bath where McCormick owned a terraced house

It was advertised as a 'great novelty item' which used the customer's body to 'energize its actions'.

There were so many similarities, that it was found the 101 was the golf ball finder with different markings.

The more sophisticated model was developed with new components.

Mr Whittam added: 'During 2007 the volume of devices required by James McCormick increased.

'He said this was due to a large contract he had obtained with the Iraqi government.'

The trial continues.