A Maryland man has been accused by federal authorities of bribing a Russian atomic energy official to help secure contracts for transporting nuclear fuel.
54-year-old Mark Lambert of Mount Airy has been charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act among other related counts.
Lambert was co-president of a firm that transported nuclear materials to power companies in the U.S. and abroad.
Federal authorities have accused Mark Lambert, 54, of Mount Airy, Maryland of bribing a Russian atomic energy official to help secure contracts for transporting nuclear fuel
Lambert was charged with violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and related counts
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 provided logistical support for transporting nuclear materials in the United States and to foreign clients.
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.
Authorities believe that from at least 2009 to October 2014 Lambert and other company executives allegedly took part in a scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation which exports the country’s uranium.
Lambert was co-president of a firm that transported nuclear materials to power companies in the U.S. and abroad
Lambert allegedly took part in a scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation
Starting in around 2009, Lambert working with others would bribe Mikerin, according to the indictment.
In exchange, Mikerin would help steer contracts to the transportation company.
The pair would use code words such as ‘lucky figures,’ ‘lucky numbers’ and ‘cake’ to talk about bribes and kickbacks.
Various transactions were also made – often for well over $100,000 each time between various shell companies.
The U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act makes it a crime for businesses to bribe overseas officials to win business.
Investigators noted eight transactions between companies in Latvia and Switzerland were made between 2011 and 2014 for amounts ranging from $48,089 to more than $142,000, according to the indictment.
Lambert allegedly took part in a scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, pictured, an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation. Mikerin is serving four years in jail
William Sullivan, Lambert’s attorney, told The Frederick News Post that they ‘categorically reject the charges and are eager to dispute and defeat them in court.’
For decades, Washington and Moscow had an agreement that converted uranium from Russia’s nuclear stockpiles to civilian grade fuel, which was shipped to the United States for use in civilian power plants.
The charges are the latest chapter in a sprawling federal investigation into corruption involved in Russia’s sale of uranium into the United States.
The uranium investigation drew increased public attention last year after an informant involved in the probe claimed to have evidence tying the former Obama Administration to Russian influence peddling, a charge former administration officials have denied.
Mikerin and the firm’s other co-president, Daren Condrey, previously pleaded guilty to similar charges.
Mikerin is serving four years in prison. Condrey pleaded guilty in June 2015 and is awaiting sentencing.