Suspect's gambling winnings total $112,000
Published March 10, 2011
By Sean Flynn/Daily News staff
The civilian program manager with the Navy who has been charged with bribery in an alleged $13.5 million kickback scheme was gambling at Twin River casino in Lincoln for 24 days from early January to March 2, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Providence.
Ralph Mariano, who was released after his arrest Feb. 7, "has had slot machine gambling winnings of approximately $112,000," Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrew J. Reich wrote in a court document filed this week in U.S. District Court in Providence.
"In order to generate this amount of winnings, in all probability (Mariano) would have had to pay in excess of this amount, in cash, in the slot machines," Reich wrote.
This is a problem for Mariano because he did not indicate a source for that kind of cash when he made financial disclosures to the federal probation office after his arrest, according to the court document.
"If (Mariano) has access to large sums of cash, then this amount should have been disclosed to the court so that it could properly be considered when determining the amount and nature of (his) bond," wrote Reich, who refers to Mariano as "the defendant" in all the court documents.
Mariano and Anjan Dutta-Gupta, president of the now-closed Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow in Middletown, allegedly set up a $13.5 million scam that resulted in Mariano receiving more than $4 million, and his relatives and associates receiving another $4 million. About $2 million was funneled back to entities controlled by Dutta-Gupta, according to an affidavit U.S. Attorney Peter Neronha filed in U.S. District Court last month. The money went to their personal use, the affidavit says.
It does not explain where the remaining $3.5 million went, but the investigation is ongoing and additional arrests are expected, according to Neronha.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond has ordered Mariano to secure a $50,000 bond in order to remain free until his trial. He is having trouble doing that, according to his attorney.
Through his attorney, Mariano originally asked to be given until Monday, March 7, to obtain an appraisal of his condominium, which would be used as collateral for the bond. On Monday, Attorney Benjamin C. Caldwell of Providence filed a motion asking the judge to extend the deadline for another 30 days.
"Additional time is needed because Mariano's condominium was appraised at a value lower than expected and thus there is not enough equity in his home to satisfy the bond," Caldwell wrote. The court documents do not indicate where the condominium is located.
During the coming month, Mariano will have an appraisal done on an additional property or properties "in order to satisfy the required value of the bond, $50,000," Caldwell wrote.
In his response, Reich wrote that the government does not object to the 30-day continuance. But he asked the court to schedule a new hearing "to ensure that the court has received complete and accurate information about (Mariano's) financial status."
The judge has scheduled that hearing to take place on Monday at 3 p.m. in U.S. District Court in Providence.
"In the event (Mariano) has additional funds available to him which were not previously disclosed to the court, the government anticipates that it will request this court to amend the conditions of the bond," Reich wrote.
A pre-trial report filed last month showed Dutta-Gupta now has liquid assets of $20,000. Almond ordered him on Feb. 15 to pay $10,000 cash up front as surety and to post an unsecured $50,000 bond.
Both Dutta-Gupta and Mariano were required to surrender their passports as a condition of their bail.
Among the court documents is a 29-page affidavit submitted by Patrick J. Hegarty, special agent for the Defense Criminal Investigative Service, that summarizes a four-year investigation into the alleged criminal activities of Mariano and Dutta-Gupta.
Much of the detail of their operations is attributed to an unnamed cooperating witness who owns two companies, C&S Technology and S.I. Technologies Inc., both with addresses at 11 King Charles Drive, Portsmouth, according to the affidavit. The Rhode Island Secretary of State's database identifies the owner of C&S Technologies as Russell E. Spencer of Portsmouth, but his name does not appear in the affidavit, which refers to the owner of the companies as "CW1."
As a program manager, Mariano had authority to "add money to existing Naval contracts when warranted," Neronha said last month when he announced the bribery charges against Mariano and Dutta-Gupta.

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