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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 30, 2015

Utah Man Sentenced In Chinese Magnesium Scheme

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051
 
BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Eldon Bott, 67, of Bringham City, UT, who pleaded guilty conspiracy to commit money laundering, was sentenced to two years probation by Senior U.S. District Judge William M. Skretny. The defendant was also ordered to forfeit $55,660.00 and pay a $5,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael DiGiacomo, who handled the case, stated that the defendant and Gregory Magness arranged to become a source of supply for magnesium used in the production of countermeasure flares. Bott thereafter entered into an agreement with ESM Group, Inc., whereby he was compensated based on the amount of magnesium ESM sold for the production of countermeasure flares.

Between December 2003 and continuing through October 2006, the defendant sold magnesium powder used in the production of countermeasure flares for the United States Department of Defense. During this time period, the Department of Defense had a restriction that the magnesium used to produce countermeasure flares for the Department of Defense could not be from a foreign source. Aware of this restriction, the defendant knew that the magnesium blend that had been and continued to be sold for use in the production of countermeasure flares for the DoD contained atomized magnesium from China. Bott prepared certificates, relied on by the DoD, that misrepresented the supplied magnesium.

In April 2010, Gregory Magness, Justin Magness, William Nehill, Charles Wright, and Eldon Bott were charged with participating in a conspiracy to import Chinese magnesium into the United States. All defendants now stand convicted.

The sentencing is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, under the direction of J. Michael Kennedy, Acting Special Agent in Charge, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, under the direction of Shantelle P. Kitchen, Special Agent in Charge, and the Department of Defense Criminal Investigative Service, under the direction of Edward T. Bradley, Special Agent in Charge, Northeast Field Office.

Updated July 31, 2015