The Justice Department won another FCPA trial. After a three-week trial, Mark Lambert of Mount Airy, Maryland, was found guilty of four counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and wire fraud. Lambert is scheduled to be sentenced on March 9, 2020.
In 2018, Transport Logistics International, a Maryland company, entered into a deferred prosecution agreement and agreed to pay a $2 million penalty. Transport is a logistics company involved in the transport of nuclear materials.
Transport was able to reduce its penalty from $21.4 million under the sentencing guidelines to $2 million based on its inability to pay. Transport retained a forensic accountant who was able to demonstrate that a $21.4 million payment would create a substantial risk that the company would discontinue operations. Transport earned profits of approximately $11.6 million from business won as a result of these payments.
Between 2009 to 2014, Lambert participated in a scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation, and the sole supplier and exporter of Russia’s uranium and enrichment services to nuclear power companies. Mikerin is a foreign official under the FCPA.
Lambert conspired with others to make $1.7 million in bribery payments to Mikerin though offshore bank accounts. Lambert and his other co-conspirators caused fake invoices to be prepared from TENEX to Transport for alleged services that were never provided. Lambert and his co-conspirators caused Transport to overbill TENEX by building the cost of the bribe payments into its invoices, and TENEX thus overpaid for Transport’s services in order to fund the bribes paid to Mikerin.
In exchange for these payments, Mikerin allegedly assisted Transport in obtaining uranium transportation contracts from Tenex, including by passing confidential information that gave an improper advantage to Transport in relation to other competitors.
Mikerin directed Transport executives to make payments to various offshore accounts in exchange for contracts. Each payment was set at a percentage amount of an individual contract awarded to Transport. Lambert assisted in the wiring of corrupt payments for those services to shell companies in Latvia, Cyprus and Switzerland.
Lambert and other co-conspirators used code words like “lucky figures,” “LF,” “lucky numbers” and “cake” to describe the payments in emails to the Russian official at an alias email account.
In 2015, Transport’s Co-President Daren Condrey plead guilty to FCPA conspiracy, while Mikerin plead guilty to money laundering. Mikerin was sentenced to 48 months’ imprisonment.