The 22-year-old Florida man who allegedly provided old, substandard Chinese-manufactured ammunition to troops in Afghanistan as part of a nearly $300 million Pentagon contract also started a private company that specialized in selling foreign munitions to civilian gun enthusiasts, according to public documents, a RAW STORY investigation reveals.
Efraim E. Diveroli, 22, could face federal fraud charges after he tried to pass off the Chinese ammo as manufactured in Hungary. His company, AEY Inc., was banned from doing future business with the Defense Department after the New York Times revealed the shady circumstances surrounding a $298 million contract he received in January 2007.
In addition to the Miami-based AEY, Diveroli started a separate company, AmmoWorks, which advertised products such as Lithuanian GGG .308 Ammunition, MP-5 Magazines and an RPK40 magazine. A toll-free phone number listed on AmmoWorks Web site rings directly to AEY's Miami headquarters.
The company's Web site was taken down after RAW STORY began asking questions.
A company representative refused to comment on the connection between the two companies.
"I really wouldn't be the person to speak to about that. I don't have anything to say. Thank you," Boz Kramer, who was listed as the director of AmmoWorks' commercial division, told RAW STORY Wednesday.
Unlike AEY, AmmoWorks did not receive any lucrative government contracts, according to several database searches. But the two companies apparently shared office space and support staff in Miami, and Florida public documents list Diveroli as AmmoWorks' sole officer.
AEY apparently did the bulk of its business supplying weapons and ammunition to Afghan security forces, and it received government contracts for other agencies dating back at least 2004. The company is now suspected of fraud for misidentifying where it purchased munitions abroad, the Times reported Friday.
Like AEY, AmmoWorks also specialized in re-selling foreign ammo, and the company boasted of its government contracts on its Web site.
Ammoworks has produced hundreds of millions of dollars worth of firearms, ammo, and tactical gear among other things for our special forces in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ammoworks is a huge supporter of our troops and does everything in its power to not only insure a quality product but a product that functions extremely well in battle situations.
In 2006 Ammoworks began to import extra goods that were produced for Government contract in Eastern Europe and Asia. We started as a wholesaler but in 2008 we will be branching out to incorporate a full scale retail web site. All goods are insured by our company and certified from the manufacturer. Everything we sell is backed by our money back guarantee. We are able to offer the best prices because we are the importer and are direct with the factories in production of goods overseas.
After RAW STORY contacted AmmoWorks Thursday to inquire about its connection to Diveroli and AEY, the company's Web site was taken down. According to a domain registry Diveroli started AmmoWorks.org in December 2007.
The following flyer, which was removed from the site, was recovered from a search engine's cache:
A Florida Certificate of Domestication, signed by Diveroli, shows that AmmoWorks was incorporated in Florida March 6. AmmoWorks apparently grew from another company, Manchester Property Corporation, which Diveroli incorporated in Nevada on Aug. 6, 2004.
By the time Diveroli incorporated AmmoWorks in Florida three weeks ago, he must have known the New York Times was investigating AEY's suspicious defense contract. The paper published the results of its months long investigation Thursday; the article referred to a conversation a reporter had with Diveroli late last year.
One of the biggest mysteries surrounding AEY remains how the company run by a few inexperienced 20-somethings managed to procure hundreds of millions of dollars worth of government contracts; the House Oversight Committee is planning an investigation. AEY's vice president was 25-year-old David Packouz, who is a licensed masseur. Another 25-year-old, Levi Meyer, briefly served as a general manager. Myer told the Times, "I'm not involved in that mess anymore."
Despite the Diveroli connection and shared phone line, none of the known AEY employees were listed on AmmoWorks now-defunct Web site, which listed eight sales representatives. Kramer apparently is the point of contact for this Craigslist classified ad seeking an AEY administrative assistant.
It's not clear how many employees AmmoWorks still has. At least one sales rep listed on AmmoWorks site said when RAW STORY reached him Thursday that he was no longer with the company.
AmmoWorks primarily advertised its products on online forums catering to gun enthusiasts.
"We are a major distributor for this .308 ammo and we are distributing quite a bit to various online retailers and we are still running an exclusive to everyone who can purchase a min pallet purchase," Kramer wrote on one forum last August. "Please act fast because our stock is dwindling and once its gone its gone."