On October 23, 2008, American Composite Timbers (“ACT”), a plastic marine pilings supplier located in Commack, NY, pled guilty and agreed to pay a criminal fine for its role in a conspiracy to commit bribery in connection with a project to repair New York’s Pier 86 where the Intrepid Sea, Air, and Space Museum is located.
Plastic marine pilings, resembling telephone poles, are reinforced synthetic pilings used as substitutes for traditional timber pilings in port and pier construction projects and other marine applications.
According to the indictment, ACT is responsible for facilitating payments from a co-conspirator corporation to a former employee of the City of New York, Charles. N. Kriss. The U.S. District Court in Islip, NY indicted Mr. Kriss on June 5, 2008 for accepting bribes from a co-conspirator company supplying New York City with plastic marine pilings for the project.
The conspiracy took place between 1999 and 2003. 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. Mr. Kriss could face up to five years imprisonment and a fine up to $250,000.
The Antitrust Division’s National Criminal Enforcement Section and the Department of Defense’s Defense Criminal Investigative Service are conducting the ongoing investigation with the assistance from the Office of the Inspector General of the New York City Department of Citywide Administrative Services.