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Former U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Employee Sentenced in Bribery Investigation

On October 27, 2017, John C. McCormick, a former employee at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), was sentenced in U.S. District Court, Central Islip, New York. McCormick was sentenced to 36 months’ incarceration followed by 36 months of supervised release, a $10,000 fine, forfeiture of $78,000, and a $100 special court assessment. The judge also ordered him to file amended Federal tax returns to reflect the income he received during each year that he accepted bribes. He was ordered to surrender and begin his jail sentence on January 10, 2018.
 
On January 20, 2017, McCormick pleaded guilty to bribery charges based on an October 2015 indictment. While working as a planner/estimator and contracting officer’s technical representative at the USMMA Department of Public Works, he conspired with favored contractors to obtain phony inflated bids, which he submitted with actual bids. This guaranteed that the favored contractors had the lowest bids and would be awarded the contracts. The contractors paid McCormick cash bribes and 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. He admitted to engaging in these activities over a 10-year period, beginning in 2004. The estimated value of the bribes and kickbacks he received exceeded $150,000.
 
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation jointly with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.