September 28, 2022

DISARMED: Newsmax pundit turned gunrunner John Cardillo sued for shady arms deal

Newsmax pundit turned gunrunner John Cardillo sued for shady arms deal

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When MAGA pundit John Cardillo isn’t stumping for Trump and trolling on social media, he’s apparently stiffing customers.

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Moonlighting as an arms dealer peddling ammunition and body protection from his Fort Lauderdale home, the former Newsmax host is being sued for failing to deliver nearly $200,000 in body armor to the Ukrainian government.

Operating under the name M42 Tactical, the company describes itself as an importer and wholesaler of “rifle and handgun ammunition,” The Daily Beast reported.

Ukrainian-born Floridian Michael Bogachek contracted M42 after Cardillo promised he could get Serbian-made body armor and get it to Ukraine. The $196,250 order signed in March was for 250 body armor kits capable of withstanding a shot from an AK-47.

The check cleared, but the promised April 20th delivery date came and went.

Bogachek filed suit a month later. His attorney José M. Ferrer told The Daily Beast, “We will be pursuing vigorous discovery to find out how M42 actually used the money.”

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Cardillo and his attorneys have denied M42 did anything wrong, instead blaming Bogachek for not providing an end-user certificate to ensure the goods reach their intended destination.

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“Mr. Cardillo has been asking Mr. Bogachek for over six months to provide a final delivery address and End User Certificate,” Cardillo’s lawyers, Tom Mersch and Dennis Klein, said in a statement.

This isn’t the first time Cardillo or his company have landed in a courtroom.

In 2015, the former New York Police officer was sued by a colleague for stiffing his partner on half the cost of a $17,500 ad directed at famed director Quentin Tarantino asking him to participate in a ride-along. A year later, radio giant iHeartMedia sued the cop-turned-radio host—and won—for close to $20,000 in debts.

The right-wing operative fell out of favor with some in former President Trump’s inner circle, when former pal Roger Stone turned on the conservative pundit, using right-wing social media site Parler to publicly criticize and smear the part-time arms dealer.

Over the course of three weeks in March and April 2021, Salon reported, that Stone posted:

“What kind of an asshole files phony divorce papers with the county, tells his wife nothing, and actually gets the date of their marriage incorrect in the filing that he has no intention of bringing to trial or settlement just so he can pray on single women? #busted #Congentalliar #Cardiilo #asswipe”

In another post, Stone referred to Cardillo as “psycho” and a “con man”—and criticized his former friend for not standing up for an NYPD officer subject to an internal affairs investigation.

“I spoke up today in the case of Officer Sal Greco of the New York Police Department, who the New York Daily News is attempting to smear,” Stone posted. “One former New York Police Department officer who was fired Newsmax thinks I should be silent in the face of this lynching, but then John Cardillo needs to shut the f*ck up. #talentless #conman”

in a Telegram message, Stop the Steal organizer Ali Alexander said that he “Warned everyone of John Cardillo. Remember when he tried to kill the Stop the Steal movement? Now you all know more about him.”

Cardillo made a name for himself in conservative circles with his inflammatory and “triggering” comments on Twitter—aimed at top Democratic officials like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), whom he called “spoiled” and “pampered.”

And who can forget his response to demonstrating during brunch hours in major cities to protest the killing of Eric Garner and Michael Brown—both unarmed and killed by law enforcement officers?

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Shocking, but not surprising that John Cardillo didn’t deliver. The former police officer is in line with his hero, stiffing his clients, his former co-worker, and his attorneys.

You know it’s bad when Roger Stone of all people calls you a con man.

Original reporting by Will Sommer and Zachary Petrizzo at The Daily Beast. 

Follow Ty Ross on Twitter @cooltxchick

Ty Ross

News journalist for Washington Press and Occupy Democrats.

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