After a criminal complaint was filed in September, Frank Rafaraci, CEO of Multinational Logistics Services (MLS) faces criminal charges for alleged participation in a bribery scheme. MLS is a defense contractor that provides husbanding services, like refueling and stocking provisions that has received over $1 billion in Navy contracts for over a decade.
Allegations Against CEO
According to the allegations in the affidavit, beginning in 2011, Rafaraci took part in a bribery of U.S. Navy officials. The bribery scheme was intended to defraud the U.S. Navy with falsely inflated invoices, and 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.
Rafaraci made his initial appearance earlier today before U.S. Magistrate Judge G. Michael Harvey of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.
“This defendant is alleged to have engaged in a wide-ranging scheme to defraud the U.S. Navy and bribe public officials for his own gain,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Channing D. Phillips of the District of Columbia. “The U.S. Attorney’s Office will continue to pursue and hold accountable those that seek to take advantage of our military through corruption and fraud.”
“The criminal case against Rafaraci is the result of painstaking investigative efforts by the Department of Defense Office of Inspector General, Defense Criminal Investigative Service (DCIS) agents, and our partner agencies,” said Special Agent in Charge Stanley A. Newell of the DCIS Transnational Operations Field Office. “Let today’s action serve as a sobering reminder to those who seek to enrich themselves at the expense of the U.S. military and American taxpayers. DCIS is resolutely committed to ensuring the integrity of the DoD’s global procurement operations.”
“Rafaraci’s alleged long-running criminal scheme to defraud the Federal government through bribery, falsified invoices, and money laundering cheated the U.S. taxpayer and wasted tremendously valuable resources,” said Special Agent in Charge Eric Maddox of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) Economic Crimes Field Office. “NCIS and our law enforcement partners remain steadfast in our commitment to root out bribery and corruption that threaten to diminish the operational readiness and warfighter superiority of the Navy and Marine Corps.”
“Rafaraci allegedly defrauded the military and laundered the proceeds of his crimes,” said Special Agent in Charge Ryan L. Korner of IRS Criminal Investigation’s (IRS-CI) Los Angeles Field Office. “IRS-CI Special Agents once again showed their unwavering commitment to ensuring those who cheat the system are brought to justice. IRS-CI is dedicated to protecting the revenue and ensuring the process for awarding government contracts remains fair for everyone.”
Indictment for Rafaraci
Following his arrest in Malta on September 27, Rafaraci was indicted by a D.C. grand jury on September 30, and he was charged with one count of bribery. A conviction could lead to a maximum of 15 years in prison.
DCIS, NCIS, IRS-CI, and Army Criminal Investigative Division are investigating the case. Valuable assistance was provided by the FBI, U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service, the Malta Police Force, Malta Office of the Attorney General, Essex Police, and U.K. International Crime Cooperation Center.
An indictment and criminal complaint are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.