JERSEY CITY, NEW JERSEY (TIP): An Indian American contractor has pleaded guilty to the charges of bribing government officials for bagging a contract, the Department of Justice has said. 42-year-old Hitesh Desai, a resident of Jersey City in New Jersey, faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and fine of USD 2,50,000. Sentencing is scheduled for October 2. In his guilty plea, Desai conceded to offer a bribe of USD 5,000 to a government official in New Jersey to bag a contract.
Desai was a contractor, who worked on various construction projects for the Department of Veterans Affairs. In 2012, Desai became affiliated with two businesses that were applying to be placed on a VA list known as the Multiple Award Task Order Contract (MATOC).
“Between October 2012 and February 2013, Desai offered and promised to make a USD 5,000 bribe payment to an official who worked at the VA, who Desai understood to be responsible for serving on a committee that would determine which contractors were placed on the MATOC list,” federal prosecutors said June 28. On October 18, 2012, and December 6, Desai made two cash payments, totaling USD 1,000, to the official in exchange for his assistance in placing his businesses on the VA’s MATOC list.