Courts & Crime

Miami Beach weapons wunderkind pleads guilty to defrauding U.S.

A Miami Beach munitions dealer will face up to five years' imprisonment after pleading guilty to defrauding the U.S. government by selling banned Chinese-made machine-gun rounds to the Army to supply allied forces in Afghanistan.

Efraim Diveroli, 24, admitted in a plea agreement Friday that he conspired with other employees of his company, AEY Inc., to sell the military $10.3 million of prohibited Chinese munitions that they tried to disguise as being made in Albania.

In return for pleading to one count of making false statements to the government, the U.S. attorney's office in Miami agreed to drop 84 other procurement charges and a forfeiture allegation. AEY also pleaded guilty Friday to the same count. Diveroli and his company may still have to pay restitution to the government.

Diveroli's deal with the Pentagon was only a fraction of his government business. His company contracted to sell about $300 million in weapons and munitions to the U.S. Army one year before he and three others were indicted on conspiracy and procurement offenses in March 2008. The indictment triggered congressional hearings on why the Pentagon was doing business with such a young man.

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