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7 Indian Americans charged with kickback and bribery scheme

July 18, 2013 10:14 IST

Eight people, seven of them Indian Americans, were charged on Wednesday in connection with a $2.3 million bribery and kickback scheme to secure business from executives of a Manhattan-based medical cost management company.

Three of them were arrested on Wednesday morning.

The defendants charged with paying the bribes and kickbacks are Sarvesh Dharayan, Sanjay Gupta, Venkata Atluri, Rangarajan Kumar, Vadan Kumar Kopalle and Daren Siriani. The defendants charged with receiving the bribes and kickbacks are Anil Singh and Keith Bush.

Dharayan , Gupta, Koppale and Sirianai were arrested Wednesday morning at their homes in New Jersey, and were presented in Manhattan federal court in the afternoon before Magistrate Judge James L. Cott.  Singh who was previously arrested in April 2013, pleaded guilty to 'honest services fraud' and other charges before the judge July 11, 2013.  Bush, who was also arrested previously on July 12, 2013, is next scheduled to appear in court for a pre-trial conference on August 15.

Dharayan, the owner of a New Jersey information technology company and Gupta, an employee of Dharayan , paid an estimated $1,722,620 in kickbacks and bribes to Bush and Singh in exchange for receiving DBAs (Doing Business As) from the New York Company. From 2010 to 2012, the New York Company paid them approximately $6,625,479 for placing DBAs with the New York Company.

Alturi, owner of another New Jersey information technology company paid approximately $190,436 in kickbacks and bribes to Bush and Singh in exchange for receiving DBA business from the New York Company. From 2008 to 2012, the New York Company paid him approximately $11,495,804 for placing DBAs with the New York Company.

"For the eight defendants charged in this multi-million dollar scheme, bribes and kickbacks were allegedly the cost they imposed for doing business with this medical-cost management company. As today’s charges detail, the defendants achieved their years-long fraud through fake companies, sham invoices and made-up consulting services," Preet Bharara, US District attorney who announced the charges, said. "Today’s actions underscore our commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice individuals who break the law out of greed.”

OIG-HHS (Office of Inspector General, for the US Department of Health and Human Services) Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas O’Donnell said: that this scheme was motivated by greed and it deprived its victim, a company in the health care field, of the honest labor of its employees. "We will continue to aggressively investigate those who pay kickbacks and bribes to gain an advantage in the public and private health care sectors," he said.

Suman Guha Mozumder in New York