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January 2010


How to Become a Bounty Hunter

Ex-High Ranking Secret Service Agent Among Those Busted in FBI Sting Involving 22 Executives

By Allan Lengel

WASHINGTON — A former high ranking Secret Service agent was among 22 executives of military and law enforcement supply companies indicted this week in an FBI sting involving foreign bribery and sale of small arms, amunition and protective gear to Africa.

Patrick Caldwell, the chief executive officer of Florida-based Protective Products of America, spent 27 years with the U.S. Secret Service, rising to the deputy assistant director of the Office of Protective Operations.

Caldwell was among the 22 executive s charged with paying off a representative of a defense minister of an African nation to land lucrative contracts to supply the presidential guard of an African nation.  But the representative was actually an undercover FBI agent and there was actually no African nation involved.

Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist John L. Smith reported that Caldwell and former company CEO Stephen Gerard Giordanella “are alleged to have met with the FBI’s undercover agent at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Miami to hammer out details of a two-phased contract calling for a total of 3,650 armored body plates. The contract would include a 20 percent “commission” for a man they believed was an African nation’s defense minister.”

“Money changed hands, and in an October 2009 follow-up meeting at Clyde’s, a Washington, D.C., restaurant, Caldwell was told the defense minister “was pleased” with the product,” the columnist wrote. “The ex-Secret Service agent swallowed the undercover sting hook, line and sinker, according to the indictment.”

“He will have difficulty pleading ignorance of the law in the investigation despite the fact he’s only been with the company since January 2009,” wrote Smith. “The decorated Vietnam veteran was once in charge of the Vice Presidential Protective Division.

In a July 2009 press release announcing his hiring the company wrote:

“Pat’s vast expertise in federal law enforcement and the military are a natural fit for PPA and we are delighted that he has agreed to step into this important leadership position,” said General Hugh Shelton (ret.), Chairman of the Board. “We continue to work diligently to secure previously delayed and new military contracts as well as bolster our soft armor business where we see significant opportunity in diversifying our revenue stream.”

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