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Former Maryland transport company president charged with Russia nuke bribes

A former co-president of a Maryland-based company that transports nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad was charged with bribing an official connected to Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation.

Mark Lambert, 54, of Mount Airy, Maryland, was charged in an 11-count indictment with one count of conspiracy to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. 

The indictment was unsealed Friday, the DOJ said.

The charges against Lambert stem from an alleged scheme to bribe Vadim Mikerin, a Russian official at JSC Techsnabexport (TENEX), a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation. TENEX is the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, the DOJ said.

Mikerin, 58, of Chevy Chase, Maryland, is currently serving a prison sentence of 48 months.

He pleaded guilty in 2015 to a money laundering conspiracy. He was also ordered to forfeit $2.1 million.

Also in 2015, Lambert's co-president, Daren Condrey, 52, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud. He's waiting to be sentenced.

The DOJ said Condrey and Lambert allegedly paid Mikerin $2 million in bribes to award uranium transportation contracts to their company, Transport Logistics International, based in Fulton, Maryland.

The FBI began investigating Mikerin in 2007.

According to earlier guilty pleas in the case, Mikerin, Condrey, and others moved the bribe money from Maryland and other places in the United States to shell company bank accounts in Cyprus, Latvia, and Switzerland.

They disguised the bribe payments by using phony consulting agreements and code words like “lucky figure,” “LF,” “cake,” and “remuneration."

Another conspirator, Boris Rubizhevsky, 64, of Closter, New Jersey, pleaded guilty in 2015 to conspiracy to commit money laundering. The FBI said he was a consultant to Mikerin. He hasn't been sentenced.

The DOJ dropped Condrey's wife from the case as part of his plea deal.

Lambert is now the owner of a distillery he founded in Frederick, Maryland called the Dragon Distillery.

On the distillery's website it says: "The founder is a Navy veteran, having served as an Arabic linguist and intelligence analyst while stationed overseas and in Maryland. He served on a number of surface and subsurface ships while stationed in Greece for five years, and participated in Operations Desert Storm/Desert Shield. He served as a senior intelligence analyst on his return to the United States."


Richard L. Cassin is the publisher and editor of the FCPA Blog.