WASHINGTON — A former purchasing official at Mount Sinai Medical Center and School of Medicine in New York pleaded guilty to participating in bid rigging and fraud conspiracies related to contracts for maintenance and insulation work performed at Mount Sinai, the Department of Justice announced today.
Mario Perciavalle, a former associate director of plant services at Mount Sinai and resident of Stormville, N.Y., pleaded guilty today to all three counts contained in an indictment returned in U.S. District Court in New York City on April 6, 2010. According to court documents, as associate director, Perciavalle was responsible for obtaining bids from vendors and awarding contracts to them on a competitive basis. Perciavalle pleaded guilty to entering into a conspiracy with co-conspirators, between June 2004 and September 2005, to rig bids on maintenance and insulation services contracts at Mount Sinai by submitting intentionally high, non-competitive bids to make it appear that there had been competition for the contracts when, in fact, there had not been.
Perciavalle also pleaded guilty to engaging in a mail fraud conspiracy between March 2003 and September 2005 in which he awarded work at Mount Sinai to a co-conspirator’s company at the same time he asked for and received cash kickbacks totaling at least $20,500 from the co-conspirator. Perciavalle also pleaded guilty to mail fraud as a result of payments mailed by Mount Sinai to Perciavalle’s co-conspirator for work done on the rigged contracts.
The bid rigging charge carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a $1 million fine for an individual. The mail fraud conspiracy charge and the mail fraud charge each carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The maximum fine for each of the three charges may be increased to twice the gain derived from the crime or twice the loss suffered by the victims of the crime, if either of those amounts is greater than the statutory maximum fine.
Today’s plea resulted from an ongoing federal antitrust investigation of bid rigging, fraud, bribery and tax-related offenses in connection with construction, maintenance and service contracts administered by the Engineering Department of Mount Sinai and the Facilities Operations Department and the Engineering Department at New York Presbyterian Hospital (NYPH). Including Perciavalle, 10 individuals and three companies have pleaded guilty to charges arising out this investigation. Eight other defendants have been indicted and are awaiting trial.
The investigation is being conducted by the Antitrust Division’s New York Field Office, the FBI’s New York Division and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation’s New York Field Office. Anyone with information concerning bid rigging, bribery, tax offenses or fraud related to contracts administered by the Facilities Operation Department at NYPH or the Engineering Departments at Mount Sinai or NYPH should contact the Antitrust Division’s New York Field Office at 212-264-9308, visit www.justice.gov/atr/contact/newcase.htm or contact the FBI’s New York Division at 212-384-1000.