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LBT Inc Issues Statement Regarding Federal Investigation

Earlier today, I saw on the local news that officers from the Department of Homeland Security and Defense Criminal Investigative Service served two writs on London Bridge Trading Company (LBT) at their headquarters and factory on London Bridge Road in nearby Virginia Beach. Immediately, the conjecture began on social media, but I decided to find out about what was going on before I wrote anything.

What apparently began as a show of force at about 9:00 AM, quickly dwindled to just a few officers as LBT’s employees cooperated with the investigation, clarifying how their business operates and who its customers are. LBT posted this to social media, in response to social media comments about the event.

As far as I know, no one was arrested, and nothing was seized in the “audit”. To be honest, I’m not quite sure how to refer to it. Raid seems too over the top and audit seems a bit optimistic considering the way it was initiated. It certainly didn’t end the way it started. In response, LBT issued this statement just awhile ago on social media.

From what I understand, the “audit” was part of an ongoing investigation, but so far, no one outside of the government knows exactly what that investigation entails. However, sources tell me that while federal agents knew that LBT manufactured goods in Peru, they had no idea about subsidiary LBX Tactical, nor that business’s purpose, to sell tactical products commercially to the public. It sounds like all they knew was LBT and military contracts. Naturally, this could cause some confusion to anyone who knows that the Berry Amendment requires that all textiles sold to the US military be completely of US origin, from base materials all the way to the finished item. However, many do not know that there are exceptions to this rule.

The governemnt has a lot of flexibility in how it buys the items it needs. The vehicle used to purchase items all depends on who is buying the items, how they are buying them, as well as the overall cost of the purchase. For example, Berry has a threshold of $150,000. This means that if the total procurement is less than $150k, Berry isn’t an issue. This generally applies to direct buys like Government Purchase Card purchases. However, anything purchased through DLA, including via Tailored Logistics System, must be Berry compliant. Another example of an exception to Berry is that if the item is purchased overseas and intended to only be used overseas, Berry requirements can be waived. Early in the war this was sometimes done to buy mountaineering boots.

In addition to Berry purchases, military units can buy through GSA, but this requires that the items be TAA or Trade Agreement compliant in origin. These are made in countries who are on the “good guy” list. Few countries aren’t on the list, but they include China, Vietnam and North Korea, amongst others. Interestingly, several of the countries who aren’t TAA compliant seem to be found in the textile good supply chain. Confused yet?

It can be even more confusing because elements of the national security infrastructure like the intelligence community as well as the Departments of Homeland Security and Justice are not bound to the rules of the Berry Amendment, despite their missions. They must apply other rules which will hopefully be cleared up a bit as the new “Buy American, Hire American” Executive Order, signed just last week by President Trump, is implemented.

Hopefully, for LBT and their employees, this is simply a case of confusion. But, until we know the ultimate outcome, LBT says they plan to continue to fill orders. We will keep you posted.

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23 Responses to “LBT Inc Issues Statement Regarding Federal Investigation”

  1. Johnny says:

    Is that a screenshot from GWA’s Instagram?

  2. Paralus says:

    f***ing morons.

    something a 5 minute phone call could have cleared up requires a raid by incompetent twits.

    f***ing morons.

    • JB says:

      We are talking about the Federal Government here so nothing should come as a shock. Look at how federal agents stormed Gibson Guitars over questionable wood.

      When you have a hammer everything looks like nails.

    • Ed says:

      Very true! Everybody wants to kick in doors and point a firearm before they know the facts…..

      • JB says:

        Who says a door was kicked in? Guns were pointed at people? Any facts to back up these claims?

        • SSD says:

          The doors weren’t kicked in. They aren’t locked during business hours.

        • Ed says:

          are you an idiot or just “play” one in real life???

          It’s a sarcastic statement (nobody said including me that it happened!) to describe Gov-LE that probably fantasize about doing some real “sh*t”.

          Make sense, idiot??

          • SSD says:

            Relax, there’s no reason to call people names.

            • Ed says:

              I was replying to “JB”, my apologies for pointing out the obvious to someone who doesn’t get sarcasm like him.

    • straps says:

      Rarely are firearms brandished in services of writs. The emphasis is on keeping control of employees in a position to alter or destroy evidence (IT and Executive staff outward).

      I worked in a data center that hosted content that came to the attention of the Feds. They arrived in force proportional to the number of employees on the site. People willing to cooperate were treated the same as people who declined to speak without counsel. Everything stayed cordial until someone started touching stuff. Then not so much. Kinda funny when an IT guy tells a Fed with a warrant that his calendar still matters.

      However this washes out, pretty proactive of LBT to get in front, and masterful use of social media.

  3. Kona says:

    Hmm…I think I will wait for results of investigation before I completely buy the LBT explanation. I have seen plenty of other cases in the industry where companies with multiple origins of their products have “mistakenly” filled DOD orders with product produced in violation of Berry

  4. Strike-Hold says:

    SSD – I guess you could call that a “kinetic audit”, or “The Art of the Dynamic Audit”. šŸ˜‰

    • Formeractionguy says:

      Coming soon, Audit Ludus… but the primary trainer has never actually been in an audit, ran an audit, or been subject to one.

      I hear he has a great beard and dresses very flashy, so when he says temple audit makes sense, we will temple audit and defend him!

  5. Seth says:

    I think a competitor said they were providing non Berry compliant products not understanding that you can have your DOD and commercial sides operate independently. They have a lot of people cut and sewing there

  6. Mike Nomad says:

    “To be honest, Iā€™m not quite sure how to refer to it.”

    How about “Reconnaissance in Force?”

  7. Joe Bo the Man Child says:

    An old 90’s poet once said, “Greed, give me everythang that I need, Greed.” Lies, all lies! The 800 lbs gorilla keeps dodging the hits, but it’s smaller company’s keep getting pinged in the open!