Former President of Maryland-Based Transportation Company Indicted on 11 Counts Related to Foreign Bribery, Fraud and Money Laundering Scheme
Executive Allegedly Paid Bribes to a Russian Official So His Company Could Win Highly Sensitive Nuclear Fuel Transportation Contracts
An indictment against a former co-president of a Maryland-based transportation company that provides services for the transportation of nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad, was unsealed today for his alleged role in a scheme that involved the bribery of an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation.
Acting Assistant Attorney General John P. Cronan of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, Acting U.S. Attorney Stephen M. Schenning of the District of Maryland, Principal Deputy Inspector General April G. Stephenson of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General (DOE-OIG) and Assistant Director in Charge Andew W. Vale of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office made the announcement.
Mark Lambert, 54, of Mount Airy, Maryland, was charged in an 11-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering. The charges stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENtEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.
The case against Lambert is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the District of Maryland.
According to the indictment, beginning at least as early as 2009 and continuing until October 2014, Lambert conspired with others at “Transportation Corporation A” to make corrupt and fraudulent bribery and kickback payments to offshore bank accounts associated with shell companies, at the direction of, and for the benefit of, a Russian official, Vadime Mikerin, in order to secure improper business advantages and obtain and retain business with TENEX. In order to effectuate and conceal the corrupt and fraudulent bribe payments, Lambert and others allegedly caused fake invoices to be prepared, purportedly from TENEX to Transportation Corporation A, that described services that were never provided, and then Lambert and others caused Transportation Corporation A to wire the corrupt payments for those purported services to shell companies in Latvia, Cyprus and Switzerland. Lambert and others also allegedly used code words like “lucky figures,” “LF,” “lucky numbers,” and “cake” to describe the payments in emails to the Russian official at his personal email account. The indictment also alleges that Lambert and others caused Transportation Corporation A to overbill TENEX by building the cost of the corrupt payments into their invoices, and TENEX thus overpaid for Transportation Corporation A’s services.
In June 2015, Lambert’s former co-president, Daren Condrey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud, and Vadim Mikerin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering involving violations of the FCPA. Mikerin is currently serving a sentence of 48 months in prison and Condrey is awaiting sentencing. The indictment includes allegations against Lambert based on his role in effectuating the criminal scheme with Condrey, Mikerin, and others.
**The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.**
The case is being investigated by DOE-OIG and the FBI. Assistant Chiefs Ephraim Wernick and Christopher J. Cestaro and Trial Attorney Derek J. Ettinger of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, as well as Assistant U.S. Attorneys David I. Salem and Michael T. Packard of the District of Maryland, are prosecuting the case.
The Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs has provided significant assistance in this matter. The Department also thanks its law enforcement colleagues in Switzerland, Latvia and Cyprus for providing valuable assistance with the investigation and prosecution of the case.
The Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is responsible for investigating and prosecuting all FCPA matters. Additional information about the Justice Department’s FCPA enforcement efforts can be found at www.justice.gov/criminal/fraud/fcpa.
Component(s): Criminal Division USAO – Maryland
Press Release Number: 18-34
The founder and owner of Frederick’s Dragon Distillery was indicted Friday on charges related to his alleged role in bribing a Russian atomic energy official to win government contracts for the company he formerly co-owned.
Mark Lambert, 54, of Mount Airy, faces 11 charges including violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) and wire fraud, according to a U.S. Department of Justice statement released Friday.
#We categorically reject the charges and are eager to dispute and defeat them in court,” William M. Sullivan Jr., attorney for Lambert, said in an email Friday.
Lambert, who owns Dragon Distillery in Frederick, is the former co-president, along with Daren Condrey, of a Maryland-based nuclear fuel transportation company. The company, referred to as Transportation Company A in the indictment, provided logistical support for transporting nuclear materials in the United States and to foreign clients.
In the indictment unsealed Friday, prosecutors allege that Lambert and others concealed corrupt and fraudulent payments with fake invoices, offshore bank accounts and shell companies in Latvia, Cyprus and Switzerland, the release states.
Authorities believe that from at least 2009 to October 2014 Lambert and other company executives conspired to bribe Vadim Mikerin, an official at the Russian State Atomic Energy Corporation subsidiary JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), in order to secure contracts for transporting nuclear fuel, according to the Justice Department release.
TENEX, which supplies uranium and uranium enrichment services to international companies, wholly owned a U.S.-based company called TENAM Corporation, according to the indictment.
The case is being investigated by the Office of the Inspector General for the Department of Energy and FBI.
Around 2009, Lambert and Condrey began working with a third, unnamed executive at Transportation Company A to bribe Mikerin, according to the indictment. In exchange, Mikerin would help steer contracts to the transportation company.
Investigators believe Lambert and the others discussed the scheme in emails, using code words such as “lucky figures,” “lucky numbers” and “cake” to talk about bribes and kickbacks.
Prosecutors also believe that on Dec. 21, 2011, Mikerin sent Condrey an invoice purportedly from TENEX requesting payment of $125,930.53 for services that were never provided to Transportation Company A, according to the indictment. On Dec. 22, 2011, Lambert allegedly authorized a wire transfer from the company’s Maryland bank account to a shell company bank account in Latvia for the same amount.
Investigators identified eight similar wire transfers from Transportation Company A to the shell companies in Latvia and Switzerland made between 2011 and 2014 for amounts ranging from $48,089 to more than $142,000, according to the indictment.
**This is just speculation at this point as to any relation to Uranium One so we will have to track closely to see what unfolds.
TENAM Website: Tenam-USA
See also: The 5 Eyes Group