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Navy Kickback Scheme Unveiled

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.

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.

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