Defense Contractor to Plead Guilty in Naval Kickback Scheme

April 19, 2011
Dutta-Gupta allegedly paid more than $8 million in kickbacks to beef up his company's contracts.

The founder and president of a technology services company has agreed to plead guilty in a federal court to bribing a Navy contract officer and others.

According to court documents cited by the Department of Justice, Anjan Dutta-Gupta of Roswell, Ga., paid at least $8 million to ensure that his company, Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow (ASFT), received additional funding for existing Naval contracts and work orders. The company has offices in Middletown, R.I., and Roswell, Ga.

Dutta-Gupta, 58, paid the bribes from about 1996 through January 2011 -- mainly through the company's subcontractors -- to Ralph Mariano, 52, of Arlington, Va., a civilian program manager and senior systems engineer with the Naval Sea Systems Command, according to court documents.

Dutta-Gupta also paid the bribes to Mariano's family members and to a senior vice president, director of strategic planning, at the company.

In addition, at least $1.2 million paid to subcontractors based on inflated invoices was funneled back to SIC, a corporation owned by Dutta-Gupta, according to court documents.

Millions Added to Existing ASFT Contracts

As part of the kickback scheme, Mariano completed numerous funding certification forms when he added funds to the ASFT contracts, according to court document cited by the Justice Department.

"Through these and other mechanisms, Mariano was able to utilize his position as a program manager with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center to add millions of dollars to existing ASFT contracts," the Justice Department said in a news release.

In exchange, Dutta-Gupta agreed to make regular payments to Mariano.

U.S. Customs agents arrested Dutta-Gupta on Feb. 8 as he entered the country on a return trip from Chile. Dutta-Gupta was released on $25,000 unsecured bond following appearances in U.S. district courts in Atlanta and Providence.

Mariano, charged with participating in the alleged kickback scheme, is awaiting trial and remains free on $50,000 unsecured bond.

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