Many are familiar with the popular T.V. series’ fictional account of the NCIS (Naval Criminal Investigative Service). Real-life NCIS Acting Special Agent Kirk Greffin has been cracking down on white-collar crime, government corruption and contractor fraud. Greffen states, “A $10 million heist is a major crime, whether the money is taken with a gun or with a keyboard. Fraud victimizes every taxpayer. It wastes billions of tax dollars and erodes public confidence. Citizens have the right to expect their public employees to be people of integrity—not self-serving criminals”
On February 8th, the Department of Justice in Providence, Rhode Island announced that a Navy contractor and a civilian naval employee accused of taking part in a kickback and bribery scheme worth $10 million in naval funds face federal charges.
Ralph Mariano, 52, a civilian program manager and senior systems engineer for the Naval Sea Systems Command in Virginia, and Anjan Dutta-Gupta, 58, founder and president of Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow (ASFT) go way back. Their decade-long scheme involves Dutta-Gupta allegedly paying Mariano and his relatives about $10 million to direct navy contracts to ASFT, whose mission statement touts integrity at its core. The two men lined their wallets and the work was never done.
Dutta-Gupta was arrested on Sunday in Atlanta by U.S. Customs agents and turned over to the FBI upon his return from Chile. Dutta-Gupta made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Atlanta on Monday. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bond and ordered to surrender his passport. The defendant will appear before a judge in Providence on February 15, 2011.
Mariano surrendered in Rhode Island on Monday and made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Providence Monday. He was released on $50,000 unsecured bond, and ordered to surrender his passport.
If convicted, Mariano and Dutta-Gupta face up to 15 years in prison and fines of $250,000.