A defense contractor was charged for his role in a scheme to bribe and defraud the U.S. Navy using fraudulent invoices, according to a statement from the Department of Justice.
Frank Rafaraci, the CEO of Multinational Logistics Services, which provides husbanding services such as fueling, repairs, and restocking of supplies for U.S. Navy ships stationed in ports, appeared in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia on Monday, according to the DOJ's Monday statement. Rafaraci, 68, pleaded not guilty to a charge of bribery, the Washington Post reported.
Rafaraci, who has been the CEO of MLS since 2005, was allegedly involved in an operation to bribe U.S. Navy officials and defraud the U.S. Navy through the use of fake invoices and money laundering, the Justice Department said. He then allegedly attempted to hide profits from the scheme by placing the money in "shell companies" within the United States, according to the statement.
The U.S. Navy, Department of Defense, and other U.S. government civilian agencies awarded roughly $1.3 billion worth of husbanding contracts to MLS starting in 2010, according to the statement.
"Frank Rafaraci allegedly defrauded the Navy, bribed a Navy official, and laundered money through foreign bank accounts for years," said Assistant Attorney General Kenneth Polite. "The Criminal Division remains committed to combating fraud and corruption in defense contracting around the world."
Rafaraci was provisionally arrested on Sept. 27 on the Southern European island of Malta, but proceedings there concluded upon his voluntary return to the U.S. on Oct. 18, the department said.
"Rafaraci's alleged long-running criminal scheme to defraud the federal government through bribery, falsified invoices, and money laundering cheated the U.S. taxpayer and wasted tremendously valuable resources," said Eric Maddox, special agent for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service.
On Sept. 30, Rafaraci was charged with one count of bribery. If found guilty, Rafaraci could face up to 15 years in prison, according to the DOJ statement.
A similar corruption scandal emerged when Malaysian businessman Leonard "Fat Leonard" Glenn Francis allegedly swindled and bribed U.S. Navy officials. Francis, who ran husbanding services company Glenn Defense Marine Asia, boasted in a trailer for his upcoming podcast that he had "the Navy by their balls" by bribing Marine officials with gifts, Stars and Stripes reported. He pleaded guilty in 2015 and is awaiting sentencing.
Washington Examiner Videos
Original Author: Elizabeth Faddis
Original Location: Defense contractor charged with bribing and defrauding US Navy