NEW YORK—Last week, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara announced the conviction of the No. 1 arms trafficking dealer in the United States; one of the highest penalties ever collected for a Controlled Substances Act violation by a chemical exporter; and a $7.5 million settlement on a fraud suit related to the East Side Access development.
On Wednesday, Viktor Bout was sentenced to 25 years in prison for trafficking millions of dollars worth of weapons to a Colombian terrorist organization.
“Viktor Bout has been international arms trafficking enemy number one for many years, arming some of the most violent conflicts around the globe,” said Bharara in a press release.
On Thursday, chemical exporter Fleurchem Inc. in Middletown, N.Y. settled a civil lawsuit by agreeing to pay $420,000 in penalties. Fleurchem exported substances that can be used to manufacture illegal drugs on multiple occasions without reporting it to the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration as required by the Controlled Substances Act.
On Tuesday, East Side Access developer Joint Venture paid out $7.5 million to settle a suit that alleged it undermined the integrity of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise Program (DBEP). DBEP ensures that minority and women-owned businesses get a fair shot at major development contracts.
Joint Venture reported it had paid such contractors $17 million by November 2008. In fact, it only paid $5 million and the minority contractors did not play the leading roles they were supposed to, but rather “pass-through” work, which is in violation of the program’s regulations.