Efraim Diveroli: The Gunrunner is Today an Author and an Entrepreneur

In Todd Phillips’ ‘War Dogs,’ two young men make a lot of money by becoming international arms dealers. Despite being comparatively new at the business, they make some very smart choices when it comes to money and soon become a force to be reckoned with, getting a deal of the lifetime from the US government. However, it all comes back to bite them when they try to do something way above their abilities. What makes it more unbelievable is that the film focuses on the very real events in the lives of the two protagonists, with everything beginning and ending with Efraim Diveroli.

Where is Efraim Diveroli Now?

Efraim Diveroli lives in Miami, Florida, and has bid goodbye to his days as an international arms dealer, though he continues to run AEY, Inc. in some capacity. Both he and the company had been debarred from dealing in arms until 2025. He describes himself as “an American businessman, entrepreneur and author.” For his crimes, as mentioned in the movie, he pled guilty and was sent to prison for four years in 2009, a sentence he served at a low-security facility called Federal Correctional Institution Coleman in Central Florida. Having served his time in prison, he was released in December 2014 to a halfway house and eventually moved on from that to live his life on his own terms.

Kicked out of private Hebrew school when he was 14, Diveroli was known for his mischievous character since he was a kid. Following his dropout from school, he was sent to LA to live with his uncle, who was in the gun-dealing business, which is where Diveroli learned the ropes of the business. By the time he was 19, Diveroli knew all there was to know about the business of arms dealing and roped in David Packouz to work with him. In between 2003 and 2008, it was reported that their company AEY executed over 150 contracts for the US government. Eventually, the Afghan deal came across their plate, landing them around $300 million in contract with the Pentagon and eventually leading to their arrest and conviction.

In addition to the four-year sentence, which he was serving in late 2011 while being out on parole, Diveroli was arrested for violating his parole conditions for the possession and sale of firearms. For this, he received an additional two years to his sentence. It is reported that during his time in prison, Diveroli tried to help the authorities in the hopes of negotiating a reduced sentence for himself. An ATF agent testified in October 2011 that Diveroli offered to help the agents in several cases and was even ready to snitch on other inmates. He tried to turn in prisoners for dealing drugs or their schemes of murder-for-hire. With the latter, it turned out that Diveroli himself was setting up the thing. None of his efforts to find favor with the authorities in return for his cooperation went anywhere.

For a while, Diveroli remained silent about the case that landed him in prison and refrained from talking to the media or anyone else about it. However, he claimed that he was forced to speak up when he saw books being written about his experience and movies being made on his life story. He also claims that the book and the movie were based on his “initial writings,” which were used without his authority and that the events portrayed in them “have been blown out of proportion.” He wanted to set the record straight, so he penned a memoir titled ‘Once a Gun Runner,’ in which he has shifted much of the blame for the downfall of his company on David Packouz and another of their partner, Alex Podrizki. While Diveroli calls his account “brutally honest, riveting, detailed, funny and fascinating,” Packouz has called the book “a work of fiction” written by “a megalomaniac, a damaged person.”

Called “a good negotiator” and “a master bullshit artist,” Diveroli has been described by his acquaintances as someone who got more unpredictable when he started to make more money. He is accused of having “a mobster fantasy” and has been sued by all of his partners for cheating them out of their share, especially from the money that came in from the Afghan deal, which they believe only Diveroli benefitted from, walking out of prison with millions in his pockets while his partners got nothing.

Packouz also claims he was supposed to receive eight percent of the profits but never got any. Diveroli, however, says that there was never any official agreement made of such nature, though he has mentioned in his memoir that the talk of such a deal was made and that he even tried to pay off Packouz with $275,000, hoping to have the lawsuit out of his hair. Apart from this, Diveroli was also engaged in a legal battle with Warner Bros, whom he sued for making ‘War Dogs’ by stealing from his memoir and not inviting his presence in the film. The production company, however, moved for the dismissal of the case.

In March 2022, the US Army revoked Diveroli’s fifteen-year debarment, giving him a window to be back in business. Despite this, he seems to have kept a distance from arms dealing. He claims that several facts about what really happened were manipulated by the media, and he was portrayed in an extremely bad light, which he contends is not the true version of him. He now talks about his story and experiences to change the narrative surrounding him and what really happened to AEY.

Read More: Is War Dogs Based on a True Story?