Investigations

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Former USMMA Employee Debarred for 3 Years

On July 28, 2017, John C. McCormick, a former employee at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy (USMMA), was debarred from Federal contracts, procurement, and nonprocurement transactions for a period of 3 years. On January 20, 2017, he pleaded guilty to bribery charges, based on an October 2015 indictment.
 
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 submit phony inflated bids from the contractors 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 at the academy by Federal agents as he accepted a bribe from a contractor 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 and kickbacks he received was in excess of $150,000.
 
On October 27, 2017, he was sentenced in U.S District Court, Central Islip, NY, to 36 months of incarceration to be followed by 36 months of supervised release, a $10,000 fine, a 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 in each year he accepted bribes. He was ordered to surrender and begin his jail sentence on January 10, 2018.
 
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation jointly with the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations Division.
 
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time, and the System for Awards Management (Sam.gov) should be consulted to find out whether a company is currently excluded.