(CN) - A Russian nuclear energy official living in Maryland has been sentenced to four years in federal prison on money laundering charges, the Justice Department announced Tuesday.
Vadim Mikerin, 56, of Chevy Chase. Md. was also ordered to forfeit more than $2.1 million, after he pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Prior to his downfall, Mikerin worked as an executive with a subsidiary of Russian state nuclear company Rosatom.
According to federal prosecutors, in that role, he received "corrupt" payments over a 10 year period from individuals hoping to advance or solidify their company's standing with Rosatom, which supplies and exports uranium and enrichment services to nuclear power companies worldwide..
The money was then funneled to offshore shell company banks accounts in Cyprus, Latvia and Switzerland.
In considering the sentence, U.S. District Judge Theodore Chuang said he weighed the sensitivity of shipping nuclear materials safely through the United States.
Against that backdrop, he said, Mikerin's solicitation of bribes was "very troubling."
Two other men, Daren Condrey, of Maryland, and Boris Rubizhevsky, of New Jersey, still await sentencing for their roles in the scheme, having pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges.
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