Andrew Bigelow ("Bigelow"), was Managing Partner and Director of Government Programs for GunSearch.com, a company that was based in Sarasota, Florida, and was in the business of selling machine guns, grenade launchers, and other small arms and accessories.
According to the allegations in the indictment, Bigelow and 21 other executives allegedly agreed to pay a 20% commission fee (10% would go to an undercover Special Agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation ("FBI") posing as a representative of the Minister of Defense of Gabon, and the other 10% would go to the Minister of Defense of Gabon) in order to win a $15 million deal to provide weapons and supplies for the Presidential Guard of Gabon.
The DOJ alleges that on June 17, 2009, Bigelow allegedly sold M4 rifles to what was believed to be Gabon's Ministry of Defense for approximately $17,004. On September 3, 2009, Bigelow allegedly sent a wire transfer of the 20% "commission" to the undercover Special Agent's bank account. Bigelow also allegedly accepted a purchase agreement for phase two of the deal which would involve the sale of a larger quantity of M4 rifles to outfit the rest of the Presidential Guard.
On December 11, 2009, the DOJ filed an indictment against Bigelow, charging him with conspiracy to violate the anti-bribery provisions, violating the anti-bribery provisions, aiding and abetting, and conspiracy to violate the money laudering provisions of the FCPA. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of any proceeds traceable to FCPA offenses.
Bigelow, along with three other defendants, Pankesh Patel, John Benson Weir, and Lee Allen Tolleson, went to trial in mid-May, but due to the jury's inability to reach a verdict, a mistrial was declared on July 7, 2011. The second group of defendants (Patrick Caldwell, John Mushriqui, Jeana Mushriqui, Stephen Giordanella, John Godsey, and Marc Morales) went to trial on September 28, 2011. In December 2011, the judge dismissed the conspiracy charges against the second group of defendants. On January 30, the jury found Godsey and Caldwell not guilty. On January 31, 2012, a mistrial was declared as to the rest of the defendants in the second group.
On February 21, 2012, Judge Richard Leon dismissed the entire case with prejudice on motion of the government.