The former head of a plastic marine products distributor has agreed to plead guilty in a bid-rigging scheme involving projects with the U.S. Navy and Coast Guard, and has admitted to colluding with some former executives at Seaward International Inc. who are already serving jail time for the crime.
Andrew Barmakian, former president of Plastic Pilings Inc. of Rialto, Calif., also has agreed to cooperate with an ongoing federal investigation in the marine products industry. The maximum sentence for the bid-rigging felony against him is three years in prison and a $350,000 fine, according to a Nov. 17 Department of Justice news release.
Barmakian's case is in U.S. District Court in Norfolk. The government said he conspired with other defense contractors to determine which of them would win work with the Departments of Defense and Homeland Security, among others.
In 2007, former Seaward President Robert Taylor agreed to plead guilty to conspiracy to rig bids and bribe a New York official between January 2000 and August 2005. Clearbrook, Va.-based Seaward manufactures marine products such as buoys, pilings and fenders. It also produces other wares made from various plastics, including polyethylene and polyurethane.
Trelleborg AB of Stockholm, Sweden, acquired Seaward in December 2002. Seaward now operates under the umbrella of Trelleborg Engineered Products Inc.
In March, former Seaward Chief Financial Officer Donald Murray was sentenced to 1½ years in jail and fined $75,000. William Alan Potts, former vice president, was sentenced to six months in jail and ordered to pay $60,000.
``DOD contractors who engage in illegal bid-rigging and price-fixing schemes are wasting DOD resources and ultimately compromising the safety of DOD war fighters,'' Rick Gwin, a special agent with the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, said in the news release.