In the last two months of 2017, from October 30 to December 22, a record 9,294 sealed indictments were filed in districts across the United States. Contrast that to 2006, when there were only 1,077 sealed indictments for the entire year.
An indictment is a formal accusation that a person has committed a crime. A sealed indictment is an indictment that stays non-public until an arrest is made. Sealed indictments are typically used in prosecuting individuals or criminal networks in cases where revealing names could lead individuals to flee or destroy evidence.
At least one of 9,294 sealed indictments has just been unsealed.
Two days ago, on January 12, 2018, the Department of Justice (DOJ) formally indicted Mark Lambert, a business executive, for fraud, foreign bribery and money laundering in the Obama-Hillary corruption scandal known as Uranium One.
Mark Lambert is the former co-president of a Maryland-based company (dubbed “Transportation Corporation A” by the DOJ) which transported nuclear material, including uranium.
As early as 2009, the Obama administration’s FBI and DOJ had known about a multi-million dollar bribe, estimated to be $167 million, which the Russian government “routed” to the Clinton Foundation while Hillary was secretary of state. In 2010, the State Department approved a controversial deal giving Moscow control of as much as 20% of U.S. uranium.
The press release from the DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs begins with this:
An indictment against a former co-president of a Maryland-based transportation company that provides services for the transportation of nuclear materials to customers in the United States and abroad, was unsealed today for his alleged role in a scheme that involved the bribery of an official at a subsidiary of Russia’s State Atomic Energy Corporation.
The press release continues:
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 (FCPA) and to commit wire fraud, seven counts of violating the FCPA, two counts of wire fraud and one count of international promotion money laundering. The charges 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 and the sole supplier and exporter of Russian Federation uranium and uranium enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide, in order to secure contracts with TENEX.
The case against Lambert is assigned to U.S. District Court Judge Theodore D. Chuang of the District of Maryland.
According to the indictment, beginning at least as early as 2009 and continuing until October 2014, Lambert conspired with others at “Transportation Corporation A” to make corrupt and fraudulent bribery and kickback payments to offshore bank accounts associated with shell companies, at the direction of, and for the benefit of, a Russian official, Vadim Mikerin, in order to secure improper business advantages and obtain and retain business with TENEX. In order to effectuate and conceal the corrupt and fraudulent bribe payments, Lambert and others allegedly caused fake invoices to be prepared, purportedly from TENEX to Transportation Corporation A, that described services that were never provided, and then Lambert and others caused Transportation Corporation A to wire the corrupt payments for those purported services to shell companies in Latvia, Cyprus and Switzerland. Lambert and others also allegedly used code words like “lucky figures,” “LF,” “lucky numbers,” and “cake” to describe the payments in emails to the Russian official at his personal email account. The indictment also alleges that Lambert and others caused Transportation Corporation A to overbill TENEX by building the cost of the corrupt payments into their invoices, and TENEX thus overpaid for Transportation Corporation A’s services.
In June 2015, Lambert’s former co-president, Daren Condrey, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to violate the FCPA and commit wire fraud, and Vadim Mikerin pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering involving violations of the FCPA. Mikerin is currently serving a sentence of 48 months in prison and Condrey is awaiting sentencing. The indictment includes allegations against Lambert based on his role in effectuating the criminal scheme with Condrey, Mikerin, and others.
The charges in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.