World

UK man jailed for selling fake bomb detector

LONDON — A British judge sentenced a businessman who sold fake bomb detectors to 10 years in jail Thursday, saying the millionaire had shown a cavalier disregard for potentially fatal consequences.

James McCormick made an estimated $77.8 million from the sales of his non-working detectors — which were based on a novelty golf ball finder — to countries including Iraq, Belgium, and Saudi Arabia.

Advertisement

McCormick, 57, was convicted of three counts of fraud last month and sentenced Thursday at the Old Bailey court in London, where Judge Richard Hone called his profits from a ‘‘callous confidence trick’’ obscene and outrageous.

‘‘Your fraudulent conduct in selling so many useless devices for simply enormous profit promoted a false sense of security and in all probability materially contributed to causing death and injury to innocent individuals,’’ Hone told McCormick.

Get Today's Headlines in your inbox:
The day's top stories delivered every morning.
Thank you for signing up! Sign up for more newsletters here

Prosecutor Richard Whittam said the devices, which sold for up to $42,000 each, claimed to be able to find explosives and drugs under water and from the air. He said in fact they ‘‘lacked any grounding in science’’ and were no better than trying to detect explosives at random.

Associated Press

Loading comments...
Real journalists. Real journalism. Subscribe to The Boston Globe today.
We hope you've enjoyed your free articles.
Continue reading by subscribing to Globe.com for just 99¢.
 Already a member? Log in Home
Subscriber Log In

We hope you've enjoyed your 5 free articles'

Stay informed with unlimited access to Boston’s trusted news source.

  • High-quality journalism from the region’s largest newsroom
  • Convenient access across all of your devices
  • Today’s Headlines daily newsletter
  • Subscriber-only access to exclusive offers, events, contests, eBooks, and more
  • Less than 25¢ a week
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com
Marketing image of BostonGlobe.com