Former President of Maryland-Based Nuclear Transportation Company Sentenced to Four Years in Federal Prison on Charges, Including Paying Bribes to Russian Official
Executive Paid Bribes to a Russian Official So His Company Could Win Highly Sensitive Nuclear Fuel Transportation Contracts
Greenbelt, Maryland – U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang today sentenced Mark Lambert, age 57, of Mount Airy, Maryland, to four years in federal prison, followed by THREE years of supervised release, after his conviction at trial on four counts of violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA), two counts of wire fraud, and one count of conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud, for his role in a scheme to bribe an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy agency. In addition to his prison sentence, Judge Chuang ordered Lambert to pay a $20,000 fine. Lambert must report to the U.S. Marshals Service by February 15, 2021, to begin serving his prison sentence. Lambert is the former president of Transport Logistics International, Inc. (TLI), a Maryland-based transportation company that provides services for the transportation of nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad, including to the Russian Federation.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Robert K. Hur; Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian C. Rabbitt of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; Inspector General Teri L. Donaldson of the U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Inspector General (DOE-OIG); and Assistant Director in Charge Steven D’Antuono of the FBI’s Washington, D.C. Field Office.
According to the evidence presented at his three-week trial, Lambert engaged 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 Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX. Mikerin was later president of TENEX’s wholly-owned U.S. subsidiary, TENAM Corporation. Lambert and other members of the conspiracy used code words like “lucky figures,” “LF,” “lucky numbers” and “cake” to describe the bribes, and they communicated with Mikerin about the scheme at his alias e-mail account where Mikerin used the name “Marvin Jodel.”
The trial evidence demonstrated that, for approximately seven years, in order to secure contracts with TENEX, Lambert conspired with others at TLI to make the corrupt and fraudulent bribery and kickback payments to Mikerin through offshore bank accounts associated with shell companies, at Mikerin’s direction. To conceal the bribe payments, Lambert and his co-conspirators caused fake invoices to be prepared, purportedly from TENEX to TLI, that described services that were never provided. Lambert and others then caused TLI to wire the corrupt payments for those purported services to shell company bank accounts in Latvia, Cyprus, and Switzerland.
Two other defendants have pleaded guilty in this matter. Daren Condrey, age 55, of Glenwood, Maryland, Lambert’s former co-president, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud. He is awaiting sentencing. Vadim Mikerin, age 61, a Russian official formerly residing in Chevy Chase, Maryland, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering involving violations of the FCPA and was sentenced to four years in federal prison. On March 12, 2018, TLI entered into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Department of Justice in connection with the bribery scheme.
United States Attorney Robert K. Hur and Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt commended the DOE-OIG and the FBI for their work in the investigation, and thanked the Criminal Division’s Office of International Affairs and law enforcement in Switzerland, Latvia, and Cyprus for providing valuable assistance with the investigation and prosecution of the case. Mr. Hur and Mr. Rabbitt thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney David I. Salem and Assistant Chief Vanessa A. Sisti and Trial Attorney Derek J. Ettinger of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section, who are prosecuting the case.
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