Romanian influential businessman, arrested by FBI for bribing Air Force officer

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55-year-old Dumitru Martin, shareholder of Polaris Constanta, and also uncle of Social Democrat deputy Eduard Martin, was arrested by FBI agents on Dec. 1 at the San Francisco International Airport after arriving on a flight from New York City. He has been charged in Sacramento federal court with bribing an Air Force officer to obtain a $10.35 million military contract at Mihail Kogalniceanu military base in Constanța county, sacbee.com reported.

Martin had been asked by individuals posing as facilitators of the bribery scheme to come to San Francisco for a meeting. His arrest culminated a 17-month FBI investigation using the two impostors as undercover operatives, according to above-mentioned source.

Martin’s company, Polaris M Holding, made a $100,000 down payment three months ago on what was ultimately to be a bribe of more than $1 million to a major in command of a contracting squadron at Travis Air Force Base who was cooperating with the FBI, according to a criminal complaint and an agent’s affidavit unveiled on Tuesday. The affidavit of FBI Special Agent Matthew Young revealed the bribe was to lock down a contract for Polaris to supply shipping and storage containers over a five-year period to U.S. forces at Mihail Kogalniceanu Air Base in Romania.

Polaris wired the money on Sept. 19 to a covert bank account set up by the FBI, and it was withdrawn as evidence on Oct. 14, the affidavit says.

“I initiated an investigation of the Martin family and others in July 2014,” Young says in the affidavit, although the Sacramento agent does not indicate what drew his interest to Martin. “While pursuing the investigation, I was made aware that Romanian law enforcement was investigating Polaris for corruption and paying bribes to Romanian city and state officials.”

Polaris was set up in 1998, becoming one of the largest sanitation companies in Romania, serving numerous communities there.

The two undercover operatives first met with two Polaris representatives in Suisun City on Oct. 27, 2014, when a 10 percent “commission” was offered in return for a guarantee that a contract would go to Martin’s company, Young relates in his affidavit.

Dumitru Martin is the brother of former Constanta prefect (2002-2005), Gheorghe Martin and the uncle of Social Democrat deputy Eduard Martin.

He was married to Corina Martin, president of the Seaside-Danube Delta Association and former head of the National Association of the Travel Agencies. They divorced in 2012.

Dumitru Martin was ranking 127th in the top of the wealthiest Romanians in 2010.

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