On July 13, 2021, the US District Court for the District of Maryland dismissed the criminal information against Transport Logistics International, Inc. (TLI), a Maryland-based company that transports nuclear materials, bringing an end to TLI’s March 2018 deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with the US Department of Justice (DOJ). The dismissal followed a motion by the DOJ stating that TLI had “fully complied with all of its obligations under the DPA.”
In 2018, TLI entered into a three-year DPA with the DOJ to resolve allegations that it had conspired to violate the anti-bribery provisions of the US Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA) by engaging in a scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian government official working at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation. According to court documents, between 2004 and 2014 TLI executives conspired with others to pay more than $1.7 million to Mikerin in exchange for TLI obtaining and retaining business with TENEX. These payments were made pursuant to fake TENEX invoices, which charged TLI for services that had never been provided. TLI wired payments for these fake invoices to offshore accounts associated with shell companies in Latvia, Cyprus and Switzerland.
Under the DPA, TLI agreed to pay a $2 million fine, implement an enhanced compliance program, and cooperate with the DOJ’s ongoing investigation. The DOJ initially calculated a $21.4 million criminal fine for TLI, based on a 25% downward departure from the sentencing guidelines (which TLI received as a result of its cooperation and remediation). The DOJ reduced the fine after conducting an independent analysis which found that TLI was unable to pay any fine over $2 million.
Separately, Mikerin and TLI co-presidents Daren Condrey and Mark Lambert were charged for their participation in the scheme. Mikerin pleaded guilty in August 2015 to conspiracy to commit money laundering and in December 2015 was sentenced to 48 months in prison and ordered to forfeit more than $2 million. Condrey pleaded guilty in June 2015 to conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud and in April 2021 was sentenced to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay a $12,500 criminal fine. Finally, in November 2019 a Maryland jury found Lambert guilty of violating the FCPA and committing wire fraud. In October 2020, he was sentenced to 48 months in prison and fined $20,000 for his role in the bribery scheme. In November 2020, Lambert appealed his conviction. It remains pending.