A jury in federal court in Sacramento found a Romanian businessman guilty of bribing an Air Force officer to secure a multimillion-dollar contract for his company, Polaris M Holdings.
The jury determined Wednesday that Dumitru Martin bribed a contracting officer at Travis Air Force Base in Fairfield for pacts to provide storage containers and other products and services to the U. S. Air Force in Romania.
Martin, 55, and three of his employees were caught last year in an FBI sting in which two undercover operatives and an Air Force major at Travis drew the Romanians into the bureau’s net.
In May 2015, one of the FBI’s undercover operatives and Martin’s three employees met in Budapest and hammered out details of the plot. The operative assured the trio that Polaris could legitimately compete for contracts, but the company’s representatives said they wanted a guarantee, according to the evidence presented by prosecutors.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
They told the operative they would pay the contracting officer an initial $100,000 disguised as a consulting fee and that other installments would follow, up to more than $1 million, according to the government’s evidence.
The bureau’s operative, identified in court papers only as “Chris,” later provided to Polaris bids that had been submitted on a contract, and Polaris submitted a revised bid of $10.25 million, just under the competition’s lowest bid.
Prosecutors presented evidence that on Sept. 11, 2015, Martin and “Chris” met at Travis with the contracting officer, where Martin signed a contract for Polaris to provide storage containers, and two contracts between Polaris and companies he was told were associated with the contracting officer – one a bogus consulting contract and the other a phony contract for maintenance of the containers.
On Sept. 29, 2015, $100,000 meant for the contracting officer was wired from Polaris to a bank account created by the FBI.
FBI agents arrested Martin on Dec. 1, 2015, as he disembarked from a flight at San Francisco International Airport. He had traveled to San Francisco expecting to meet “Chris” to discuss additional contracts.
Denny Walsh: 916-321-1189