The chief executive officer of a shipping company that has received over $1 billion from U.S. Navy contracts since 2010 is accused of participating in a bribery scheme, the United States Department of Justice said.
Frank S. Rafaraci, 68, allegedly bribed officials and defrauded the Navy while CEO of Multinational Logistics Services, a defense contractor that provides ship husbanding services to the U.S. Navy worldwide, including refueling and stocking provisions.
According to federal prosecutors, Rafaraci, 68, was involved in the alleged “wide-ranging” bribery scheme “using falsely inflated invoices” to then “launder the proceeds of the scheme through shell companies Rafaraci had set up in the United Arab Emirates, all in an effort to benefit MLS.”
“Frank Rafaraci allegedly defrauded the Navy, bribed a Navy official, and laundered money through foreign bank accounts for years,” Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division claimed.
Special Agent in Charge Eric Maddox of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Economic Crimes Field Office noted the alleged bribery and laundering scheme “cheated the U.S. taxpayer and wasted tremendously valuable resources.”
Rafaraci was taken into custody in Malta on Sept. 27. Three days later, on Sept. 30, a grand jury in Washington D.C. indicted Rafaraci and he was charged with one count of bribery. He voluntarily returned to the U.S. on Oct. 18.
If found guilty of the bribery charge, Rafaraci faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.