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Executive to plead guilty in Navy kickback scheme
Published April 18, 2001
By Sean Flynn/Daily News staff
The founder and president of a technology services company that had offices in Middletown and Georgia agreed today to plead guilty in U.S. District Court in Providence to a charge of bribing a public official in an alleged kickback scheme of more than $9 million of Navy funds.
Anjan Dutta-Gupta, 58, of Roswell, Ga., founded Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow in 1992 and served as its president until it closed in February in the wake of the scandal. He was to plead guilty this morning to a charge of paying bribes to Ralph Mariano, 52, of Arlington, Va., a civilian program manager and senior systems engineer with the Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command, to ensure payment and additional funding for existing naval contracts, U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha said in a prepared statement.
The maximum penalty for the offense to which Dutta-Gupta will plead guilty is 15 years imprisonment, a fine of $250,000 or three times the monetary value "of the thing of value," whichever is greater, according to the plea agreement. He also has agreed to cooperate with the investigation. The exact sentence will be argued in court at a later date.
According to an "Information and a Statement of Facts" attached to the plea agreement signed by Dutta-Gupta and filed with the U.S. District Court in Providence today, from about 1996 through January 2011, at least $8 million was paid by ASFT - largely through its subcontractors- to Mariano, a co-defendant in the case, to Mariano's family members and to a senior vice president/director of strategic planning at ASFT. In addition, at least $1.2 million was paid to subcontractors based on inflated invoices and was funneled back to SIC, a corporation owned by Dutta-Gupta.
The amount of money involved in the kickback scheme has been revised by the U.S. attorney's office. In earlier court documents, officials believe Dutta-Gupta and Mariano bilked the Navy out of $13.5 million. Of that amount, about $10 million went to Dutta-Gupta, Mariano and their associates, earlier documents said.
According to court documents filed today, in exchange for Dutta-Gupta and ASFT's kickbacks of millions of dollars from 1996 through 2011, Mariano took steps to ensure that ASFT received payment on invoices submitted, and that additional funds were added to existing ASFT contracts when needed, Neronha said. In his position as program manager, Mariano regularly instructed Navy contracting officers to add funding to ASFT contracts and delivery orders, the U.S. attorney said.
According to the court documents, Mariano, who maintained offices in Newport and Washington, D.C., completed numerous "Funding Certification" forms when he added funds to the ASFT contracts. Through these and other mechanisms, Mariano was able to use his position as a program manager with the Naval Undersea Warfare Center to add millions of dollars to existing ASFT contracts. In exchange, Dutta-Gupta agreed to make regular payments to Mariano.
Dutta-Gupta was arrested on Feb. 8 by U.S. Customs agents in Atlanta as he entered the country on a return trip from Chile. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bond after appearances in U.S. District Courts in Atlanta and in Providence.
Mariano, who also was charged in a criminal complaint in February, is awaiting trial and remains free on $50,000 unsecured bond.
Dutta-Gupta was "actively involved in all aspects of the business and provides the strategic vision for the company," a former ASFT website said. The company acquired AMTECH, a Newport company, in 1996 and grew exponentially, winning a $24 million contract providing logistics engineering services to the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Middletown, according to the website. The company had about $128 million in Navy contracts when he was arrested, Neronha said.
Before starting his own company, Dutta-Gupta served as chief financial officer and administrator of a software programming company where he served clients such as EDS, HUD, Anderson Consulting, HBO, Delta and many others, the website said. He also worked in American Express' International Banking Division for nine years. He obtained his undergraduate degree from the University of Calcutta and his MBA in economics and accounting from the Institute of Business Management in Karachi, Pakistan, according to the site.

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