Blackwater Pays $7.5M to Settle Arms Case

Feds accused firm of rogue arms, technology trading
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 8, 2012 1:23 AM CDT
Updated Aug 8, 2012 3:19 AM CDT
Blackwater Pays $7.5M to Settle Arms Case
Erik Prince, founder Blackwater Worldwide, now called Xe Services, speaks at the company's North Carolina offices in this 2008 photo.   (AP Photo/Gerry Broome, File)

The company that used to call itself Blackwater has agreed to pay $7.5 million to settle allegations of illegal arms and technology trafficking. Investigators charged the company—which changed its name to Xe and then to Academi—with 17 violations, including illegally possessing unregistered automatic weapons, lying to US regulators about weapons provided to the king of Jordan, exporting satellite phones to Sudan, and illegally shipping body armor overseas, reports AP. The fine comes on top of a $42 million settlement the security firm agreed to with the State Department in 2010.

"Blackwater profited substantially from Department of Defense contracts in support of overseas contingency operations over the past decade," said a special agent from the Defense Criminal Investigative Service. "This investigation showed that no contractor is above the law, and that all who do business with the Defense Department will be held accountable." The company, which pledged to reform its conduct and agree to future monitoring and audits, said the settlement is not an admission of guilt, but an attempt to resolve a "legacy matter." (More Blackwater stories.)

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