By Besha Rodell
By Patrick Range McDonald
By Michael Goldstein
By Dennis Romero
By Sarah Fenske
By Matthew Mullins
By Patrick Range McDonald
By LA Weekly
Her attorney, Robert W. Hirsh, declared to the Daily News in 2006: "We would not be surprised if [Botach's] net worth is $700 million." Yet Botach is appealing to force her to cover his legal bills. Hirsh calls the appeal frivolous and says, "We are now taking steps to enforce the judgment."
Not everyone is buying brother Shlomo Botach's explanation for why he was moving money to Israel. In 2006, Jaffa District Court Judge Kobi Vardi in Tel Aviv called his stated reason — that he was keeping it out of Boteach's hands — an "unacceptable fabrication."
Vardi said Shlomo Botach was part of a "sophisticated and well-lubricated organization" that intended to launder money.
Shlomo argued, "They didn't intend to hire shady characters for the purpose of transferring funds to Israel ... as it is 'clean,' legitimate money derived from their business in the USA." But in May 2006, the Israeli judge ordered that half of the cash be confiscated.
The Botach family soon took another blow: Diveroli emerged as the owner of an arms firm, AEY Inc., in Miami Beach, which appeared on a U.S. Department of State watch list for contract fraud and violation of the Arms Export Control Act.
Despite this, the tiny firm was awarded the $300 million U.S. Army defense contract that made it the main supplier of ammo to the Afghan government.
The Waxman-led congressional investigation later found that AEY had previously been caught selling the military "junk." The fact that young Diveroli subsequently won a key Army contract involving Afghanistan was "a case study in a dysfunctional [federal] contracting process," investigators found.
According to The New York Times, Diveroli purchased some ammo in Albania. It was marked for destruction by NATO, manufactured by Mao Tse-tung and found in moldy crates marked "Made in China," U.S. inspectors found. He and three employees were indicted on numerous counts of fraud and conspiracy.
Incredibly, while awaiting trial, Diveroli completed two more U.S. defense contracts for about $10 million, according to Glenn Furbish, a federal official.
Diveroli was found guilty in August 2009 of one count of conspiracy. Diveroli referred questions to his lawyer, who did not respond to the Weekly's e-mailed inquiry.
Bar-Kochba Botach, the current owner of Botach Tactical, complained to The New York Times that Diveroli, after working for him as a teenager, "just left me and took my customer base."
The Weekly asked him about documents in which Botach Tactical's address matches that of Diveroli's firm in Miami. "No comment," he says.
Boteach sums up Waxman's failure to figure out how her step-grandson defrauded a sophisticated power like the federal government: "He was a kid. He was a kid!" she says.