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Glock Family Feud Escalates With Ex-Wife's RICO Suit

Gaston Glock, the gun mogul who supplies firearms to two-thirds of U.S. police departments—and to millions of individual American consumers—has been accused of thieving, money laundering, and racketeering. Glock’s ex-wife, Helga, filed a massive civil suit Thursday against the Austrian industrialist in federal court in Atlanta, near Glock’s subsidiary headquarters in Smyrna, Ga. The 340-page suit invokes the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act and seeks $500 million plus unspecified punitive damages and attorneys’ fees.

Spiced with allegations of fraud and concealment of gun profits, Helga Glock’s claim that Gaston stole her share of a company they built together, beginning in the early 1960s, could raise serious questions of public policy: Does closely-held Glock represent the sort of company to which U.S. municipalities, federal law enforcement agencies, and military units ought to direct millions of dollars a year in taxpayer funds? Might the IRS have any concerns about Glock’s alleged use of shell corporations to transfer firearm profits away from the U.S. and toward lower-tax jurisdictions in the Caribbean, Latin America, and Europe?