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Press Release

Former United States Merchant Marine Academy Employee Sentenced To 36 Months’ Imprisonment For Receiving Bribes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
John McCormick Was Known to Contractors as “10 Percent McCormick,” Referring to Illicit Payments Required to Do Business at the Academy

Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, John C. McCormick, a former Planner/Estimator for the Department of Public Works of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, located in Kings Point, New York, was sentenced by United States District Judge Arthur D. Spatt to 36 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, for receiving a bribe as a public official.  The Court also imposed a $10,000 fine and a forfeiture order of $78,000 for funds illegally received by McCormick as part of the scheme.  McCormick pleaded guilty on January 20, 2017 in connection with his participation in a scheme to defraud the United States by steering maintenance and repair contracts to favored contractors in exchange for bribes. 

Bridget M. Rohde, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Douglas Shoemaker, Regional Special Agent-in-Charge, United States Department of Transportation, Office of the Inspector General (DOT-OIG), and James D. Robnett, Special Agent-in-Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, New York Field Office (IRS-CI), announced the sentence.

Between 2000 and 2014 while McCormick was employed in the Department of Public Works of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, he solicited and submitted fake bids on contracts he supervised in order to steer the awarding of maintenance and repair contracts to favored contractors who paid him bribes.  McCormick, using his position, arranged, supervised or effected a majority of construction contracts at the Academy.  He became known among contractors as “Ten Percent McCormick,” in reference to the amount of bribe payments required to do business at the Academy.  McCormick accepted more than $150,000 in bribes, according to court filings.


“McCormick abused his position of trust by putting government contracts up for sale in order to line his pockets with bribe money,” stated Acting U.S. Attorney Rohde.  “This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will vigorously investigate and prosecute to the fullest extent of the law those who engage in public corruption that threatens the integrity of the contract procuring process.”  


The sentence of Mr. John McCormick for bribery at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy is a clear signal that those entrusted with the stewardship of taxpayer dollars will be held responsible for maintaining the highest level of integrity,” stated DOT-OIG Regional Special Agent-in-Charge Shoemaker.  “Accountability is a priority of the Secretary and OIG, and working with our law enforcement peers and prosecutorial colleagues, we will continue our vigorous efforts to protect the taxpayers’ investment in our nation’s transportation system from fraud, waste, abuse and violations of law.”


“The United States Merchant Marine Academy is one of the most elite institutions in the country responsible for training our young leaders of tomorrow,” stated IRS-CI Special Agent-in-Charge Robnett.  “Today’s sentence today should deter other public servants from engaging in such misdeeds.  IRS-CI is proud to lend our financial expertise to an investigation where the crimes harm all U.S. citizens.”   

The government's case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Burton T. Ryan, Jr. is in charge of the prosecution with the assistance of Assistant United States Attorney Madeline O’Connor of the Office’s Civil Division.

The Defendant:


Age:  60

Residence: Atlantic Beach, New York


E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 15-CR-490 (ADS)


John Marzulli
Tyler Daniels
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated October 27, 2017

Public Corruption