Washington: Anjan Dutta-Gupta, Indian American founder and president of a technology services firm, and a civilian employee of the US Navy have been charged in a USD 10 million kickback and bribery scam.
Dutta-Gupta founder and president of Roswell, Georgia based Advanced Solutions For Tomorrow, or ASFT and Ralph Mariano, a civilian programme manager and senior systems engineer for the Naval Sea Systems Command were charged in Providence, Rhode Island Tuesday.
If convicted, Dutta-Gupta, 58, and Mariano, 52, both face up to 15 years in prison and fines of USD 250,000. Dutta-Gupta was arrested on Sunday morning at the airport in Atlanta as he returned from a trip to Chile, according to Providence Journal.
He was formally charged in US District Court in Atlanta and released on USD 25,000 unsecured bond. He is scheduled to appear before a magistrate judge in Providence next Tuesday.
Dutta-Gupta is accused of funnelling about USD 10 million to Mariano, his relatives and friends in return for his role in securing millions of dollars in Navy contracts for Dutta-Gupta`s technology firm.
"The payments come in the form of cheques, cash and wires, and are funnelled through ASFT`s subcontractors and Mariano`s relatives and friends," says an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint by the US Attorney`s office in Rhode Island.
The affidavit says that business and banking records show that the alleged arrangement between Mariano, Dutta-Gupta and unnamed ASFT subcontractors had been going on since 1999.
The ASFT website says that the firm was founded in 1992 and it has provided services for "some of the largest Defence Contractors in the world."
Peter F Neronha, the US Attorney for Rhode Island, said that ASFT has 10 "open contracts" with the Navy valued at about USD 128 million.
He declined to provide any details outside of the affidavit, which says that Mariano used his ill-gotten gains to finance "trips to Las Vegas or other vacations."
"What they used it for is something I`m not going to say," said Neronha.
According to the authorities, NAVSEA is the largest of the Navy`s five system commands, with 53,000 employees, and accounts for nearly 25 percent of the Navy`s budget.
The agency is responsible for "establishing and enforcing technical authority in combat design and operation," among other duties.