The U.S. Justice Department said the former head of a Maryland-based company that specializes in the transportation of nuclear materials was found guilty in a district court on Nov. 22 of bribing a Russian government official for contracts.
After a three-week trial, the court found Mark Lambert, who was co-president of Transportation Logistics Inc. (TLI) at the time of the alleged wrongdoing, guilty of 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.
Lambert, 56, is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the District of Maryland on March 9, 2020.
According to the evidence presented during the trial, between 2004 and 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 Corp. and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian uranium and enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.
Lambert and other TLI executives initiated the bribery payments with Mikerin through offshore bank accounts associated with shell companies.
“In order 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 and then Lambert and others caused TLI to wire the corrupt payments for those purported services to shell companies in Latvia, Cyprus and Switzerland,” the Justice Department said in a statement.
According to the Justice Department, Lambert and his co-conspirators used code words in their communications, including “lucky figures,” “LF,” “lucky numbers” and “cake” to describe the payments in emails to the Russian official. TLI also overbilled TENEX for its services in its invoices to cover the cost of the bribe payments.
On June 17, 2015, TLI co-president Daren Condrey pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud in the investigation. Mikerin also pleaded guilty on Aug. 31, 2015, to conspiracy to commit money laundering involving violations of the FCPA and was sentenced to 48 months in prison on Dec. 15, 2015. On Jan. 12, 2018, an 11-count indictment was unsealed against Lambert, then a TLI co-president.
In March 2018, Fulton, Maryland.-based TLI agreed to pay a $2 million criminal penalty for the alleged FCPA and fraud violations.
Founded in 1998 and part of France-based DAHER Group since 2009, TLI remains a specialist freight forwarder in the transport of nuclear cargoes.