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Former Navy Engineer Pleads Guilty to Organizing and Managing Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Scheme; Associate Admits to Stealing Government Funds
Ralph Mariano admits to defrauding U.S. Government of between $7 and $20 million dollars; R.I. Attorney Mary O’Rourke admits theft of over $200,000 of government funds
(DoJ) – PROVIDENCE, R.I. – May 30, 2013 – Ralph M. Mariano, of Warwick, R.I., a former senior systems engineer with the United States Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Newport, R.I., and Washington, D.C., pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence, R.I., today to conspiracy and to defrauding the U.S. Government of between $7 million and $20 million by directing co-conspirators to bill the Navy for work that was never performed, announced Peter F. Neronha, United States Attorney for the District of Rhode Island.
Ex-president of firm to plead guilty in kickback probe
John E. Mulligan – (Providence Journel) – Journal Washington Bureau – PROVIDENCE, R.I. – April 18, 2011 – Anjan Dutta-Gupta, the former president of the now-defunct Middletown defense company at the center of a Navy contracting scandal that erupted in February, has agreed to plead guilty to bribing his co-defendant in an alleged kickback scheme that cost the government between $7 million and $20 million.
Dutta-Gupta, 58, of Roswell, GA, founder and president of Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow (ASFT ), has agreed to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence to bribery of a public official — his alleged confederate in this case, Ralph Mariano, 52 — according to U.S. Atty. Peter F. Neronha.
Mariano was a civilian program manager and senior systems engineer who allegedly engineered the scheme with Dutta-Gupta through his position at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Newport.
The court documents filed Monday sketch an alleged scheme dating to 1996, charging that Dutta-Gupta and the company paid millions of dollars to Mariano, his associates and a number of shell companies.
For the first time, the new filings name figures in the case who had been described only by initials or code-names in the initial charges. These figures, who have not been charged with crimes, include:
Russell Spencer, the owner with his wife, Debra Spencer, of subcontracting companies — “funding vehicles,” in Dutta-Gupta’s statement — that received weekly or bi-weekly payments “for work that largely had not been performed.” The statement depicts these payments to the Portsmouth subcontractors as continuing for more than a decade, beginning in 1999.
Spencer “submitted inflated invoices to ASFT to justify the payments,” according to the Dutta-Gupta filing.
By late last year, Spencer was making more than $21,900 in weekly payments to Mariano and Mariano’s brother, Joseph; his girlfriend, Mary O’Rourke; his father; or to small companies they controlled, according to Dutta-Gupta’s statement.