January 20, 2017
Former U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Employee Pleads Guilty to Bribery
On January 20, 2017, John C. McCormick, a former employee at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), pleaded guilty to bribery, in U.S. District Court, Central Islip, New York. McCormick worked as a planner/estimator and contracting officer’s technical representative (COTR) at the USMMA Department of Public Works.
McCormick conspired with favored contractors to ensure they were awarded contracts at USMMA. He would obtain phony inflated bids from the conspiring contractors and submit them with the actual bids. This guaranteed that the favored contractors had the lowest bids and would be awarded the contracts. The contractors paid McCormick cash bribes/kickbacks totaling approximately 5–10 percent of their profits on dozens of contracts, most of which were for maintenance and repair work at USMMA. In 2014, McCormick was surveilled and recorded by Federal agents accepting a bribe from a contractor at the academy and was arrested shortly thereafter.
McCormick admitted to engaging in these activities over a 10-year period, beginning in 2004. The estimated value of the bribes/kickbacks he received was in excess of $150,000. As part of his guilty plea, he agreed to forfeit $60,000.
DOT-OIG is working this investigation jointly with the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigations Division.