Four Romanian Nationals Charged in Bribery Scheme
SACRAMENTO, CA—A federal grand jury returned a two-count indictment today against Dumitru Martin, 55, a Romanian citizen residing in Long Island, New York, and Anamaria Cruceru, 48; Constantin Schiller, 62; and Marcelle Banaga, 40, all of whom reside in Romania, charging them with conspiracy to commit bribery and with bribery of a public official, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.
According to court documents, Martin owns and operates a Romanian company called Polaris M. Holdings (Polaris), and Cruceru, Schiller, and Banaga are employees. From October 2014 through December 2015, Martin, Cruceru, Schiller, and Banaga conspired with each other to bribe a United States Air Force (USAF) contracting officer in connection with the awarding of multimillion dollar contracts to Polaris. The defendants offered to pay the contracting officer a bribe, which they called a “commission,” equal to 10 percent of the amount of the contract. The defendants also suggested that the contracting officer use a fictitious consulting contract and other commercial contracts and documents to conceal payment of the bribe.
In July 2015, the defendants caused Polaris to submit a bid to the USAF to supply storage containers to the Mihail Koglaniceanu Air Base in Romania. In September 2015, Martin traveled to Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield, California to sign the documents relating to the bid as well the fictitious contracts meant to conceal the bribe payment. Thereafter, as part of the conspiracy, the defendants caused a $100,000 wire transfer from Romania to a bank account in the United States as payment to the USAF contracting officer. Unbeknownst to the defendants, the USAF contracting officer was working with federal law enforcement and there was no contract to be awarded to Polaris.
“Attacking corruption and collusion in federal contracting is important both to ensure the integrity of federal programs and to protect taxpayer dollars,” U.S. Attorney Wagner said. “Working with the FBI and our other law enforcement partners, we will continue to root out and prosecute those who attempt to corruptly influence federal contracting officials.”
This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Michael Beckwith and Todd Pickles are prosecuting the case.
Martin was arrested and is currently in custody in Sacramento. The remaining defendants reside in Romania, and the U.S. Department of Justice will initiate requests for their extradition.
If convicted, the defendants each face a maximum statutory penalty of five years in prison on the conspiracy charges and 15 years in prison for the bribery count, as well as a $250,000 fine. Any sentence, however, would be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables. The charges are only allegations; the defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.