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Collierville man pleads guilty to fraudulent sale of pumps

A Collierville man pled guilty last week to making false statements to a government agency that resulted in more than $500,000 in fraudulent sales of water pumps.
Michael J. Florio, the 40-year-old vice president of Sales and Marketing for American Marsh Pumps on 185 Progress Road in Collierville, is charged with selling untested and uncertified pumps to the Egyptian government in 2011.
“When our government undertakes to provide development programs throughout the world, it must be able to trust its partners,” said U.S. Attorney Edward L. Stanton III. “Government contractors are neither exempt from nor allowed to turn a blind eye to the rules and requirements designed to prevent fraud and malfeasance. Today’s guilty plea should serve notice to those who engage in procurement fraud that there is zero tolerance for such conduct, and ultimately you will be held accountable.”
The charge in the information grew out of an indictment filed in December 2011 alleging that American Marsh Pumps conspired with international interests in order to rig the outcome of bidding process for 10 large industrial water pumps intended for an Egyptian company.
The conspiracy violated regulations established by the United States Agency for International Development Commodity Import Program. One of the provisions required that the pumps be manufactured in the United States, but the pumps sold by AMP and Florio were manufactured in China.
Other provisions required that the pumps be tested and certified. None of the pumps were tested.
During the plea hearing, it was revealed that the inferior pumps were sold to the Egyptian government. Six of the pumps were eventually returned to the manufacturer in China.
In pleading to the information, AMP agreed to forfeit $536,750, representing the proceeds obtained as a result of the false statements made.
Florio will be sentenced by U.S. District Judge T. Fowlkes Jr. on May 30, 2013. He could receive up to five years in federal prison.

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