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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.
Federal Indictment Charges former Naval Engineer and His Father in $10 Million Bribery and Kickback Conspiracy
Highlights of the indictment include email exchanges among the confederates that are full of kickback directions in coded language; emailed complaints from an annoyed Mariano about delayed payoffs; details of how bi-weekly packages of thousands of dollars in cash were mailed or expressed overnight to Mariano, who had substantial power over the award of contracts at the Navy research base and its parent organization in Washington.
While they are not named or charged, new characters in the drama make their first public appearances in Thursday’s indictment. Among them is “M.M.,” the otherwise unidentified sister of the younger Ralph Mariano, who owned and operated Rhode Island Veterinary Lab, Inc., with “her long time companion K.L.” ~ John E. Mulligan – Providence Journal
(According to Veterinary Lab, Inc.’s website the company was founded by Michele Mariano & Keith Lee )
Three co-conspirators have pled guilty and are awaiting sentencing in U.S. District Court in Providence
(DoJ) – PROVIDENCE, R.I. – April 26, 2012 – A federal grand jury in Providence, RI, returned a 37-count indictment today charging Ralph Mariano, 54, of South Arlington, VA, a civilian engineer with the United States Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA) in Newport, RI, and Washington DC, and his father, Ralph Mariano, Jr.,80, of North Providence, RI, in connection with an alleged 15-year bribery and fraud conspiracy involving approximately $10 million of Naval funds.
Sub-Contractor in Rhode Island Naval Funds Kickback Case to Plead Guilty to Lying to the FBI
(DoJ) – PROVIDENCE, RI – April 9, 2012 – Russell Spencer, 57, of Portsmouth, Rhode Island, a sub-contractor who admitted in U.S. District Court in Providence in June 2011 to being the conduit for alleged kickbacks of naval funds from Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow (ASFT), of Middletown, Rhode Island and Roswell, Georgia, to Ralph Mariano, an engineer with the United States Navy’s Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), has agreed to plead guilty to allegedly lying to the FBI on three occasions during the investigation into the kickback scheme. Mariano, 53, of Arlington, Virginia, has been charged by way of a criminal complaint with receiving a bribe as a public official.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Richard Deslauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Boston Field Office, today announced the filing of an information and plea agreement in U.S. District Court in Providence, alleging that Spencer knowingly made false statements to the FBI on three occasions between September 2011 and January 2012.
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Chinese stymie U.S. hunt for parts
(Pittsburgh Tribune-Review (PA) Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) – June 18, 2011 – Senate investigators are returning from Hong Kong after China on Friday again refused their entry into the mainland to investigate the manufacture of counterfeit military parts for the American F-15 fighter jet and other high-tech defense components.
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.