An executive with a New York metallurgy firm, Sanova LLC, pleaded guilty yesterday to bribing an engineering director at Stryker (NYSE:SYK) to win a multi-million dollar contract, according to federal prosecutors.
Eugene Ostrovsky, vice president and partner at Sanova, admitted that he paid the roughly $70,000 in bribes to Daniel Lawrynowicz in 2012 and 2013 to help Sanova land a contract with Stryker’s Howmedica division in New Jersey, according to the U.S. District Attorney for New Jersey’s office.
Lawrynowicz’s LinkedIn page lists him as a 15-year Stryker employee who is senior director of advanced engineering, leading “a team of 41 engineers and scientists at the Mahwah, N.J. facility dedicated to supporting the Recon Business Units.”
Ostrovsky, who pleaded guilty to violating the Federal Travel Act, faces 5 years in prison, plus a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss, the prosecutors said. He will also forfeit $1.1 million in connection with the plea; Ostrovsky is slated for sentencing June 29.
Lawrynowicz, who was also charged with bribery in March 2016, similarly faces 5 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
According to the complaint filed against him, the FBI in December 2015 recorded Lawrynowicz on calls with an unnamed representative from Sanova in which they allegedly discuss concealing about $75,000 in bribes ahead of a fictitious audit of Sanova:
“Representative One: “I am more worried about that $75k in cash that eh you know that we gave you, I don’t know if that ever comes up, or we deny it right, obviously.”
Lawrynowicz: “Yeah, Yeah … when is that happening?”
Representative One: “Its ongoing, they called us to say they are auditing us and they just showed up…”
Lawrynowicz: “Let’s get a story together so that ah you know it all has legs and a tail.”
During a call the next day the pair allegedly revisited the subject, discussing any potential links to a consulting company owned byLawrynowicz, according to the complaint:
Representative One: “Oh you are talking about the eh $75K cash that we gave for, after [medical device company] contract?”
Lawrynowicz: “Yeah” … “what link do you have documented to [consulting company]? “What does [consulting company] represent within any of the files of [Sanova]? …”What is the story, that eh, what services did [consulting company] render to make sure that we are all singing the same tune, if there is a dialogue?”
Representative One: “I know I took out my $25K in a safe way … I don’t know if that is as important, just to make sure that yours was not appropriated in any kind of visible way, I mean tell me that you left it in cash or at least if you put it somewhere that you put it an untraceable account …”
Lawrynowicz: “Yeah, yeah, it never made it into any account … there is no record of any kind of deposit.”
Representative One: “That should be okay, I guess…”
Lawrynowicz: “From my end, I’ve been very cognizant from not creating any raised eyebrows kind of scenarios, so it’s all been appropriately handled.”
Ostrovsky’s problems aren’t over either, according to the Tampa Bay Times, which reported in 2014 that he and another Sanova partner, Anatoly Samgorodsky, are facing charges that they bribed a U.S. Energy Dept. official to win a $3.4 million contract to research nuclear reactor fuel rods.