The founder and president of a technology services company located in Rhode Island and Georgia has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence to bribing a public official in a kickback scheme netting more than $9 million of naval funds, United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced.
Anjan Dutta-Gupta, 58, of Roswell, GA, founder and president of Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow (ASFT), pleaded guilty to paying bribes to a civilian program manager and senior systems engineer with the United States Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), who maintained offices in Newport, R.I and Washington, D.C., and to others, to ensure payment and additional funding to existing Naval contracts and work orders for work purportedly to be performed at ASFT.
According to information presented in court and in court documents, from about 1996 through January 2011, at least $8,000,000 was paid by ASFT (largely through its subcontractors) to a co-defendant in this case, Ralph Mariano, 52, of Arlington, VA, a civilian program manager and senior systems engineer with NAVSEA, to Mariano’s family members and to a Senior Vice President at ASFT. In addition, at least $1,200,000 was paid to subcontractors based on inflated invoices and funneled back to SIC, a corporation owned by Dutta-Gupta.
In exchange for Dutta-Gupta and ASFT’s kickbacks of millions of dollars from 1996 through 2011, according to court documents, Mariano took steps to ensure that ASFT received payment on invoices submitted, and that additional funds were added to existing ASFT contracts when needed. In his position as program manager, Mariano regularly instructed Navy contracting officers to add funding to ASFT contracts and delivery orders.
In addition, according to court documents, Mariano completed numerous Funding Certification forms when he added funds to the ASFT contracts. Through these and other mechanisms, Mariano was able to utilize his position as a program manager with the NAVSEA to add millions of dollars to existing ASFT contracts. In exchange, defendant Dutta-Gupta agreed to make regular payments to Mariano.
Anjan Dutta-Gupta is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi on December 9, 2011. Dutta-Gupta faces up to 15 years in federal prison, and a fine of $250,000 or three times the value of the bribe payments – whichever is greater.
Ralph Mariano, charged by way of a Criminal Complaint with participating in the kickback scheme, is awaiting trial.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lee H. Vilker and Andrew J. Reich.
This matter was investigated by agents from the Defense Criminal Services, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Internal Revenue Service—Criminal Investigations.