Inter-Ordnance Owners Face 100 years of Prison


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Cosmoline
October 1, 2004, 06:44 PM
Union Co. -- Two brothers from Union county now face additional charges for selling thousands of machine guns across the country.

A federal grand jury charged Ulrich Wiegand and his brother Oliver with 84 counts ranging from illegally importing and selling machine guns to money laundering.


The indictment says they hid the illegal weapons sales from the government by calling the guns "part kits."

If convicted, the brothers face more than a hundred years in prison and millions of dollars in fines.


http://www.wsoctv.com/news/3775732/detail.html

Just saw this link posted by Parallax Bill over on his board. IO does a ton of import sales to C&R and other customers. I recently got a Nagant revolver from them! Of course the money laundering sounds bad, but I trust the BATFE as far as I can throw one of their cowboys. Hope they get a good lawyer!

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Chipperman
October 1, 2004, 06:47 PM
I bet ATF is carefull pawing over the records of who bought those kits, too. :cuss:

Cosmoline
October 1, 2004, 06:47 PM
BTW, here are the infamous parts kits:

http://www.interordnance.com/Merchant2/merchant.mv?Screen=CTGY&Store_Code=INTERORDNANCE.com&Category_Code=Parts+Kits

What law they're violating is beyond me. No functioning receiver= NO FIREARM Period, end of story.

Henry Bowman
October 1, 2004, 06:52 PM
The receiver was cut up with a saw, not a torch. Therefore: big felony.

Some on this board would say that that they broke the law and it is good to have these criminals off the street. :rolleyes: See for example this thread (http://thehighroad.org/showthread.php?s=&threadid=103697) .

Langenator
October 1, 2004, 06:52 PM
Now, I don't know how it works with AKs, but one some guns, such as the FNC, the semi version can be fitted with a Class III FCG (or in the FNC's case, the sear), turning it into a Class III weapon.

Can a semi AK-klone be fitted with a select fire FCG and have it work?

Cosmoline
October 1, 2004, 06:56 PM
Sure, and I could rig my SAR-1 to fire out of battery and break federal law. But that's MY doing, not the doing of the guy who sold it to me. Parts kits are just parts kits. If you're planning on making them into a functoinal firearm, it's up to you to clear it with the feds. Unless they've passed a law banning the sale of torch-cut receivers, no law is being broken by selling them. You cannot be tried in criminal court for the actions of an end user of your product.

mrapathy2000
October 1, 2004, 06:59 PM
But that's MY doing, not the doing of the guy who sold it to me
actually the feds will go after you and the people that sold it to you. forget where its written but recall it being in their somewhere.

bull???? they didnt torch cut per ATF's spec's so get this crap. who is going to weld up a sawed in half receiver.

btw yes you could modify semi auto ak with full auto parts though requires a bit of work. new hole in receiver for new pin to house a part semi auto does not have. if caught with the hole in your receiver then supposedly the ATF will go after you.

Wildalaska
October 1, 2004, 07:08 PM
It was cheaper to saw then to torch....they tried to save a $$ and now it will cost them....

There is more to the whole deal than just technical violations of the NFA....there are IRS issues involved here...

Im gonna get more Nagants bbefore they go under....

WildlovethemlittlegunsAlaska

Cosmoline
October 1, 2004, 07:12 PM
Where are you seeing saw cut? All their parts kits specify TORCH CUT and to my knowledge they are torch cut.

Besides, LOOK AT THE PRICES on the parts kits. Those prices are for collectors parts, not for illegal machine guns.

Bah. I'm not buying it. This is more federal nonsense. More job preservation. Hope they try to convict me for my fully automatic Nagant revolver :D

redhead
October 1, 2004, 07:22 PM
I bet ATF is carefull pawing over the records of who bought those kits, too.

Yes, they did. The BATFE sent letters to purchasers of these parts kits over a year ago tell them that they were in possession of machine guns. They were requested to call the BATFE to arrange for an agent to pick up the parts. The FALFILEs had quite a few threads regarding this issue.

Wildalaska
October 1, 2004, 07:24 PM
If you can full auto that Nagant revolver ya got a finger like the Hulk :)

WildgassealAlaska

Chipperman
October 1, 2004, 07:40 PM
"Some on this board would say that that they broke the law and it is good to have these criminals off the street. See for example this thread ."

Are you serious?? :scrutiny:

There is absolutely no comparison between these cases.

Chris Rhines
October 1, 2004, 10:48 PM
When speaking of federal prosecutions, in general, the more charges the weaker the case. The tried-and-true technique is called "charge stacking" - bury the defense in paperwork, scare them by talking about a zillion years in the pen, and get them to cop to a plea on one or two charges.

There are exceptions to this general rule, but the 84 counts makes be think that the feds have no case and are hoping for a plea.

- Chris

JohnBT
October 1, 2004, 10:56 PM
"Ulrich Wiegand is also accused of directing Inter Ordnance employees to structure cash deposits into various bank accounts in amounts less than $10,000 to avoid reporting requirements.

The brothers used Inter Ordnance bank accounts to transfer funds to various international accounts to conceal and disguise the company's profits, the indictment said."

www.atfabuse.com/atfabuse-10.html





I'd say they're in deep trouble even if they beat the gun charges.

JBT

DMF
October 1, 2004, 11:15 PM
When speaking of federal prosecutions, in general, the more charges the weaker the case. The tried-and-true technique is called "charge stacking" - bury the defense in paperwork, scare them by talking about a zillion years in the pen, and get them to cop to a plea on one or two charges. That's the biggest load of crap I've heard around here lately.

This idea that defendants, and their lawyers, are going to be more or less afraid of 80 counts vs. 1 or 2 counts is ridiculous. They either think they can beat it in court or they don't. In fact, I usually see the opposite, whether it's a plea or going to trial AUSAs will often charge just one count of certain crimes, rather than each individual count. That doesn't even take into account cases that get referred to the state because the state charges carry greater penalties.

DMF
October 1, 2004, 11:20 PM
http://www.atf.gov/press/fy04press/field/020504char_interordnance.htm

The indictment alleges that Ulrich and Oliver Wiegand imported the machinegun component parts knowing that the machineguns had not been destroyed according to ATF specifications. Further, the indictment alleges that Ulrich and Oliver Wiegand sold these machineguns as parts kits to customers throughout the United States knowing that the component parts could be assembled as functional machineguns. . .

The indictment also alleges that Ulrich and Oliver Wiegand and Interordnance of America structured cash deposits in less than $10,000 increments in order to avoid the filing of currency transaction reports which is required by financial institutions. In addition, the indictment alleges that Ulrich and Oliver Wiegand and Interordnance of America used monies from the sales of the illegally imported machineguns in financial transactions to pay importation expenses, income tax expenses, and payments to a German bank account in violation of money laundering laws. JBT I would say you are right, even if they beat the gun charges the structuring and laundering charges are still big problems.

Car Knocker
October 1, 2004, 11:40 PM
JohnBT,

Think about it.

If it was illegal to make small deposits so they don't hit the reporting threshold, isn't it just as illegal to drive below the posted speed limit so one can avoid speeding citations? Is it illegal for me to overreport my income slightly to avoid tax evasion charges? Some people make more than $10,000 a month - would it be illegal for them to insist on bi-weekly paychecks to avoid coming to the gov's attention for whatever privacy reasons they may have?

I think the constitutionality of the phoney law needs to be challenged.

Daedalus
October 2, 2004, 12:03 AM
I beleive the parts kits in question were PPSH kits and FAL kits with saw cut recievers.

If anything, I would recommend buying their MG42 parts kits before they go under. They have some of the better quality kits and they are all German parts.

IO has honesty problems - throwing a new scope on a Yugo SKS and selling it as a "Sniper" model, throwing post war reproduction scopes and mounts on an MN91/30 and selling it as a WW2 Sniper Rifle. They consistently b.s. their customers, they b.s.ed the ATF demill regs, and they b.s.ed the IRS.

DMF
October 2, 2004, 12:30 AM
Car Knocker,

What you're missing is it's not illegal to have multiple transactions under $10000 (in fact my bi-weekly pay check is MUCH less than $10000). What is illegal is doing it to avoid paying taxes. You know the whole issues of taxes is addressed in the Constitution, right?

DMF
October 2, 2004, 12:43 AM
BTW, if you're curious about where the structuring charge comes from it is in the US Code it's 31USC5324. http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/scripts/ts_search.pl?title=31&sec=5324

It is clear from the text of the statute, and to any of us that don't launder money yet make transactions less than $10000, that the law imposes penalties on those that are trying to avoid reporting of transactions to hide illegal income and/or evade taxes.

Car Knocker
October 2, 2004, 12:48 AM
DMF,

Unless I totally missed it, the indictment does not say they structured the deposits to avoid paying taxes.

2nd Amendment
October 2, 2004, 12:56 AM
They weren't, apparently, doing it to avoid taxes so far as the deposits go. They were breaking up deposits to avoid having to fill out the fed forms required for such large single deposits. Car lots(and many other large item businesses) do the same thing on large cash sales. A 3k deposit one day, another the next, a 4k one the next, drop whatever is left the next, etc.

Also, "Charge Stacking"(there's another term for it I believe) is a very common tool of prosecutors. It's a very effective means of intimidation for exactly the reasons cited, though it doesn't necessarily mean the case is weak. I can't actually believe you aren't aware of this considering your claimed profession.

DMF
October 2, 2004, 01:45 AM
Since I doubt either of us got to see the entire indictment, I'll just say I ocassionally work cases that involve structuring charges. The essential element is that the transactions were structured to cause a financial institution to not make required reports of the financial transactions. It will be tied to laundering, tax evasion, or more likely both. Read the portion of the press release that I posted, the structuring is tied to money laundering according to that report. Now structuring schemes might result in the crooks paying taxes, but the usual purpose of evading reporting of transactions is to both hide the illegal source AND evade paying taxes.

Crooks don't like paying taxes any more than you or I, but being crooks they are willing to do illegal things to evade taxation of their ill gotten gains. It's nothing new, the government has been chasing tax cheats since we first became our own country.

DMF
October 2, 2004, 02:05 AM
I can't actually believe you aren't aware of this considering your claimed profession. I am intimately aware of how charges get brought in a few different districts. I can tell you "stacking charges" doesn't intimidate a defense team. Any work created for the defense by additional charges is also created for the prosecution, because now the government has to meet it's burden of proof on each and every count. It makes trials (and the preparation) last much longer. Sometimes that may even work the advantage of the defense, as some jurors have a short attention span. :(

More often than not prosecutors pick a handful of charges, and a few counts that they know are slam dunk in court. It's very rare to see prosecutors charge each and every count that they could. It would just take too long to present all of it in court. When you see 80 counts on the same type of crime, it's an egregious violation that warrants that kind of effort and attention.

I find it ridiculous that people act as if charging multiple counts is somehow wrong. If you murder 18 people in 18 separate instances why shouldn't that be 18 counts of murder. If you sell illegal firearms and launder money in 83 separate incidents, that is not any different than the 18 murders. Yet the bleeding hearts, or the defense attorneys, call it "stacking" and say it's an intimidation tactic. BS, if the government can prove 83 different crimes then so be it, but they must actually prove it in court, beyond a reasonable doubt.

hammer4nc
October 2, 2004, 02:43 AM
So, the pregnant question is: How is it that these thousands of illegal parts kits cleared customs? Were they initially approved by ATF, who then later changed the interpretation of the rules? Or, do these items just sail in without any import paperwork whatsoever?

What were initially "parts kits" (OK to be sold without background checks, etc.) suddenly become "machine guns"? And only discovered years later? End result: upteen counts of NFA violations?

Thousands of man-hours chasing down customer lists and confiscating the "kits" from customers, when they could have been blocked at the dock (i.e., the ultimate make-work project/budget buster?). Something doesn't smell right.

Perhaps our resident ATF organ can explain the inconsistency?

While you're at it, a similar high-profile raid took place at PW Arms, Redmond WA; in June 2003. Same MO>illegal kits. Since that raid, there's not been a single news story about arrests, trials...nothing. Could you ask agent Schmuckatelli to post an update on their website on this case? If possible, have him include a cost/benefit analysis of taxpayer funds. Thanx
:cool:

c_yeager
October 2, 2004, 04:28 AM
Where are you seeing saw cut? All their parts kits specify TORCH CUT and to my knowledge they are torch cut.

This occured quite awhile ago and it has been well established that the did in fact import and sell a number of SAW CUT parts kits. You can go and ask of at the FAL Files as many of their members purchased such kits and posted photos to verify them as being saw cut.

However saw-cut or not its still absurd that they are being charged with selling machine guns for what SHOULD have been a simple customs violation. Unless of course there is more to the story and they actually WERE shipping out some actual machineguns to "special customers" in the guise of parts kits. SUch things have happened before when a seemingly legitimate busines uses that cover to conduct illegal activity. I guess we are going to have to wait and see.

Blackcloud6
October 2, 2004, 09:08 AM
On these kinds of cases, I always say" "What did they do to get law enforcement interested in them?"

If you are going to deal in MG parts, you better run a squeaky clean business, because any hint of wrong doing is going to bring The Man sniffing around.

They need to make sure that their cuts were correct and they could have done so by asking the BATFE up front.

As to mpney laundering and possible tax evasion. Just plain stupid.

spartacus2002
October 2, 2004, 09:11 AM
I can tell you "stacking charges" doesn't intimidate a defense team. Any work created for the defense by additional charges is also created for the prosecution, because now the government has to meet it's burden of proof on each and every count. It makes trials (and the preparation) last much longer.

I've been both a prosecutor and defense attorney, and in some cases, in some jurisdictions, depending on the facts, "charge stacking" happens. Somewhere along the way in most cases, many of the charges get stopped, because either defense points out why they are unsupported, or to help a plea agreement happen.

I think it's irresponsible of the prosecution, but it does happen.

fletcher
October 2, 2004, 09:47 AM
Just seems amazing that after selling "thousands of machine guns across the country", they're apparently not being used in a criminal manner...

0007
October 2, 2004, 10:04 AM
batf changed their "rules" AFTER they had approved the import of the kits cut according to their previous rules. And many of the kits had been sold. You know, the old "it's my ball, my game, I own the referee, and I'll change the rules whenever I want"... Kind of like let's arrest Korish at his "compound" rather then in town. From other places I've read about this it appears that the batf is carrying the water for the irs on this one.

JohnBT
October 2, 2004, 10:29 AM
"If it was illegal to make small deposits so they don't hit the reporting threshold, isn't it just as illegal to drive below the posted speed limit so one can avoid speeding citations?"

Uh, no. It's not the same thing. It's not even close to being the same thing. In fact, the comparison is so illogical that I don't know what to say.

John

Wildalaska
October 2, 2004, 03:54 PM
Defense attorneys love "charge stacking"...helps with discovery...

Most AUSAs avoid it for that reason...


WildthereisexperienceandthereisrhetoricAlaska

Gifted
October 2, 2004, 04:53 PM
Perhaps ruling on the demil thing will do some good. Make the laws there more definite, allowing others to avoid this mess.

As far as the laundering, it seems that the big deal would be if they didn't report all of the money. If you break up your payments, but report all of the money for taxes, what's the deal? So, did they?

rock jock
October 2, 2004, 05:15 PM
The MG charges sound ridiculous. The laundering charges, OTOH.........well, if true, hang 'em high.

JohnBT
October 3, 2004, 10:06 AM
Gifted - Breaking up deposits to stay under the $10k cash reporting limit is against the law and has been for years. So is moving money overseas, or anywhere for that matter, to avoid paying taxes.

We will see what happens when it goes to trial.

John

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