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A jury at the Old Bailey found Jim McCormick, 57, from near Taunton, Somerset, guilty on three counts of fraud over a scam that included the sale of £55m of devices based on a novelty golfball finder to Iraq. They were installed at checkpoints in Baghdad through which car bombs and suicide bombers passed, killing hundreds of civilians.
could bypass "all forms of concealment", detecting drugs and people along with explosives, the court heard.
He claimed they would work under water and from the air, and would track an object up to 1km (3280ft) below the ground.
The bomb detectors came with cards which were "programmed" to detect a wide array of substances, from ivory to $100 banknotes.
Other substances could be detected, it was claimed, if put in a jar with a sticker which would absorb its "vapours" and was then stuck on a card that would be read by the machine.
In reality, McCormick's device was based on $20 (£13) golf ball finders which he had purchased from the US and which had no working electronics.
The Quadro Tracker, also known as the Positive Molecular Locator, was a "detection device" sold by Quadro Corp. of Harleyville, South Carolina between 1993 and 1996.
Around 1,000 were sold to police departments and school districts around the United States on the basis that it could detect hidden drugs, explosives, weapons and lost golf balls.
In 1996, the FBI declared it to be a fake and obtained a permanent injunction barring the device from being manufactured or sold. Three principals of Quadro Corp. were charged with mail fraud and conspiracy to commit mail fraud, but were acquitted in a trial held in January 1997.
The Quadro Tracker was invented by Wade L. Quattlebaum, a former used car salesman from Harleyville, South Carolina. He was said to have devised the Quadro Tracker after he was trying to invent something to find lost golf balls. It was sold through his company, the Quadro Corporation, between 1993 and 1996. Around 1,000 Quadro Trackers were sold at prices of between $400 and $8,000 per unit.
The device consisted of three principal components. A "locator card" purportedly containing a "signature" of the object to be detected was inserted into a plastic "card reader" about the size of a tape cassette that could be attached to the user's belt.
Numerous US school boards, airports and police departments purchased the Quadro Tracker before it was banned.School officials in the McKinney Independent School District declined to discontinue using the device even after it was banned, saying that they hoped it would be a deterrent: "We're not looking to nail a particular kid. We're looking to send a message."