Charged in multimillion bribery and kickback scheme
NEW YORK (TIP): Only a couple of months ago, The Indian Panorama had come out with comments on the functioning of FIA, much to the chagrin of FIA coterie. It was mentioned then that a former president of FIA was a proclaimed offender in India against whom there was a red corner notice. And since then there has been an addition to the FIA criminals’ list.
Only this month, on July 17, Chairman of the Reception Committee for the 2013 FIA India Day Parade, Sarvesh Dharayan, aka Sarvesh Kumar Dharayan, was arrested from his home in New Jersey. He has been charged with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, one count of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison.
Here is the detailed report. Eight individuals from New Jersey have been charged in a multimillion bribery and kickback scheme in New York. Five of those charged with paying the kickbacks and one of those charged with receiving the kickbacks, are of Indian origin. Sarvesh Dharayan, Sanjay Gupta, Venkata Atluri, Rangarajan Kumar, Vadan Kumar Kopalle and Darren Siriani have been charged with paying bribes and kickbacks in a lucrative scheme in which these IT vendors paid $2.3 million to get business from a Manhattan-based medical cost management company.
Those accused of receiving the bribes and kickback include Anil Singh and Keith Bush. None of the companies are named in the complaint and information filed in court. The U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York Preet Bharara said the eight defendants charged in this multimillion dollar scheme carried out from 2008 to 2012, regarded the bribes and kickbacks as “the cost they imposed for doing business,” a release from his office said.
“As today’s charges detail, the defendants achieved their years long fraud through fake companies, sham invoices and made-up consulting services,” Bharara is quoted saying. Dharayan, Gupta, Koppalleand Siriani were arrested July 17 at their homes in New Jersey, and appeared in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott. Singh was arrested in April and pled guilty to honest services fraud and other charges before U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote on July 11.
Atluri and Kumar were not yet in custody on the day of filing this news report on July 18. Dharayan, 42, of Edison, N.J.; Gupta, 38 of East Windsor, N.J.; Atluri, 41, of Monmouth Junction, N.J.; Kumar, 47, of Monroe, N.J.; and Kopalle, 43, of Edison, N.J.; were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison and one count of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison.
They were also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison. Singh, 40, a resident of East Brunswick, N.J., pled guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, conspiracy to violate the Travel Act, violating the Travel Act, and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
He faces a maximum penalty of 70 years in prison on all counts. According to the court filings by prosecutors, Singh was a senior vice president and CIO at the New York company which provided nation-wide medical cost management solutions including, among other things, medical reimbursement services. Bush was the director of Database Administration. Singh and Bush had considerable influence over the selection of vendors, specifically vendors of database administrators, hired by the New York company, a release from the Justice Department says.
From 2008 to September 2012, various individuals collectively paid over $2.3 million in money and other benefits to Singh and Bush. In exchange Singh and Bush agreed to steer millions of dollars of the New York company’s DBA business to them.