War Dogs: What Does AEY Stand For? Is it Still in Business?

Following a series of true events, ‘War Dogs’ introduces the audience to the business of arms dealing, but instead of focusing on tried and tested companies who know every aspect of the business, it follows the perspective of two novices. Efraim and David were best friends growing up. They grew apart and met several years later when Efraim invited a financially struggling David to work for him at his company called AEY. An unknown entity at first, it soon turns into a giant whose downfall is just as spectacular as its rise. But what does the company’s name stand for?

AEY Title Has a Personal Connection to Its Founder

In the movie, when Jonah Hill’s character is asked what his company’s title means, he says it means nothing. His point is that all big companies are named in the format of three initials that don’t necessarily have to mean anything. In real life, however, things were pretty different.

AEY was established by Efraim’s father, Michael Diveroli, in 1999. He named it after the initials of his children— Aaron, Avigail, Avrohom, Efraim, and Yeshaya. At the time, Efraim was only thirteen, and for several years, his father acted as the company’s sole executive. It was when Efraim turned eighteen that he was officially welcomed into the company. It was the year 2004, and the young man received a one percent ownership stake, and by the next year, he had become the company’s president.

While Michael was focused on other things, his son branched the company out on his own. By then, it had already been focused on procuring security-related contracts, winning all sorts of contracts like providing ammunition and equipment to government agencies like the Transportation Security Administration, the Special Forces, and the Department of Energy, among others. Soon, they entered the fray of more equipment related to the military and focused on the supply of everything from helmets and batteries for machines to bomb suits and all kinds of weapons.

For what was initially a shell company, AEY didn’t have a lot of manpower in the beginning. When Efraim took over, he made it look like he was working with a bunch of staff, while in reality, it was usually just him, in the beginning at least. And then he brought David Packouz on board and they ran the office by themselves. They would focus on the online bidding of the contracts that were meager for huge arms dealers but enough for small companies like AEY. Soon enough, this small company started making it large. They started with Kevlar helmets and jet fuels and went on to obtain the coveted Afghan order, even if they had to underbid to get the contract. Reportedly, between 2005 and 2008, the company had 29 task orders, with the Afghan order piling the whole thing up to $300 million.

While its fortunes were growing, the company was also making a bad name for itself. Reportedly, some officials who had dealt with AEY called it “unreliable.” They complained that there would be several problems when dealing with them, and in case of a problem, the resolution would be late and with excuses. Whatever the case may have been, AEY got all the coveted contracts until the truth about its wrongdoings came to light.

When Efraim Diveroli and his associates’ corruption became public, they were sentenced for their crimes. Additionally, they were barred from getting government contracts as arms dealers. This also extended to their company, which cannot take on another contract until March 2025. The same sentence holds true for Efraim as well, though he still has the reins of the company and runs it however he feels fit.

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