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Press Release

Former MTA Manager Sentenced to 46 Months’ Imprisonment for Soliciting and Accepting Bribes from Construction Contractors

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Defendant Promised the Contractors Future Work in Return for Bribes, and Threatened to Bar Them if They Refused

Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Talib Lokhandwala, a former Construction Project Administrator with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Dora L. Irizarry to 46 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release, after pleading guilty in October 2017 to having solicited and received bribes from two contractors working on two New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) projects. The Court also imposed a fine of $20,000.

 Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Douglas Shoemaker, Special Agent-In-Charge, U.S. Department of Transportation Office of Inspector General (DOT OIG), and Barry L. Kluger, Inspector General, Metropolitan Transportation Authority, announced the sentence.

According to court filings and facts presented at the sentencing, from March 2009 through May 2015, Lokhandwala, who was employed in various positions charged with overseeing MTA construction projects, solicited and received bribes totaling $152,420 from two contractors performing construction projects on NYCTA subway lines.  Lokhandwala concealed his receipt of the bribe payments by having the contractors issue checks to shell bank accounts he controlled.  In exchange for the bribes, Lokhandwala promised to steer future work to the contractors and to expedite bureaucratic paperwork for their benefit.  Lokhandwala threatened to bar the contractors from future projects if they did not continue to pay him. 

“Motivated by greed, Lokhandwala abused his position of trust by soliciting and accepting bribes from contractors performing work on NYCTA projects,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “The public has the right to expect that contractors performing work on their behalf are selected on merit, not their willingness to line the pockets of government employees with bribe payments.  Our Office is committed to ensuring that public officials who accept bribes are held accountable.”  Mr. Donoghue expressed his appreciation to the United States Department of Transportation and to the MTA Inspector General for their assistance during the investigation.

“This sentencing demonstrates that those entrusted with the stewardship of taxpayer dollars and oversight of transportation infrastructure projects will be held accountable for maintaining the highest level of integrity,” said DOT OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Shoemaker.  “Working with our law enforcement and prosecutorial partners, we will continue our vigorous efforts in preventing, detecting and prosecuting fraud involving DOT programs and funds.”

“I thank the United States Attorney’s Office for having moved aggressively and effectively to prosecute these criminal acts that undermine the integrity of the public contracting process,” stated MTA Inspector General Kluger.  “I will continue to refer such misconduct to my law enforcement partners for vigorous investigation and prosecution.  I also want to remind those who do business with the MTA of their obligations, to both the MTA and the public, to report any solicitations or requested bribes.”

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Public Integrity Section.  Assistant United States Attorney Michael Warren is in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

Age: 64
Residence: Fair Lawn, New Jersey

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-517 (DLI)


John Marzulli
Tyler Daniels
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated February 23, 2018

Public Corruption