On June 30, 2009, Franch A. March, a chief executive officer of a former Virginia marine products company, pled guilty for his role in conspiracy to rig bids and allocate customers with respect to foam-filled fenders and buoys bought by the U.S. Navy, U.S. Coast Card, and other private companies. Mr. March has also agreed to pay a fine of $100,000 and serve jail time, the amount of time still to be determined by a court.
Foam-filled marine fenders are used as a cushion between ships and fixed structures, such as docks, piers or other ships. Foam-filled buoys are used in a variety of applications, such as channel markers and navigational aids.
Mr. March participated in the conspiracy from June 2002 and December 2002. He as agreed to cooperate with the Department of Justice’s ongoing investigation. Several other executives have already pled guilty for participating in this conspiracy.
On November 17, 2008, Andrew Barmakian, the former president of a California-based marine products company, pled guilty and agreed to serve a sentence and pay a criminal fine for his role in a conspiracy to rig bids for contracts for marine products purchased by the U.S. Navy, the U.S. Coast Guard, and other private companies. In June 2008, Charles N. Kriss, a former New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services engineer, pled guilty to conspire to commit bribery by accepting bribes from a co-conspirator company supplying New York City with plastic marine pilings for the project. In May 2007, Robert Taylor, a former employee of a Virginia based marine products firm, pled guilty to multiple felonies, including a charge of conspiring to bribe Mr. Kriss. Mr. Taylor’s company charged an extra 10 percent to purchase orders worth approximately $400,000 and used this money to pay Mr. Kriss. In January 2008, a court sentenced Mr. Taylor to serve two years in prison and a pay a fine of $300,000.