U.S. Attorney Charges NYPD Officer With Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor And Possession Of Child Pornography
Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Thomas O’Donnell, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General (“HHS-OIG”), and Steven G. Hughes, the Special Agent-in-Charge of the New York Office of the U.S. Secret Service today announced charges against eight individuals for their alleged involvement in a lucrative scheme in which information technology vendors paid over $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks to secure business from executives of a Manhattan-based medical cost management company (the “New York Company”). The defendants charged with paying the bribes and kickbacks are SARVESH DHARAYAN, SANJAY GUPTA, VENKATA ATLURI, RANGARAJAN KUMAR, VADAN KUMAR KOPALLE, and DARREN SIRIANI. The defendants charged with receiving the bribes and kickbacks are ANIL SINGH and KEITH BUSH. DHARAYAN, GUPTA, KOPPALLE, and SIRIANI were arrested this morning at their homes in New Jersey, and were presented in Manhattan federal court this afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge James L. Cott. SINGH, who was previously arrested in April 2013, pled guilty to honest services fraud and other charges before U.S. District Judge Denise L. Cote on July 11, 2013. BUSH, who was also arrested previously on July 12, 2013, is next scheduled to appear in court for a pretrial conference on August 15, 2013. ATLURI and KUMAR are not yet in custody.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “For the eight defendants charged in this multi-million dollar scheme, bribes and kickbacks were allegedly the cost they imposed for doing business with this medical-cost management company. As today’s charges detail, the defendants achieved their years-long fraud through fake companies, sham invoices and made-up consulting services. Today’s actions underscore our commitment to work with our law enforcement partners to bring to justice individuals who break the law out of greed.”
HHS-OIG Special Agent-in-Charge Thomas O’Donnell said: “This scheme was motivated by greed and it deprived its victim, a company in the health care field, of the honest labor of its employees. We will continue to aggressively investigate those who pay kickbacks and bribes to gain an advantage in the public and private health care sectors.”
USSS Special Agent-in-Charge Steven G. Hughes said: “The Secret Service continues to enjoy its partnership with the New York Office of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Office of Inspector General. We find partnerships such as this to be an effective way to share resources and stop criminals from continuing to engage in fraudulent schemes.”
According to the allegations contained in the Complaint, the Informations filed against BUSH and SINGH, and other statements made in Manhattan federal court:
SINGH was employed as a Senior Vice President and the Chief Information Officer at the New York Company, which provided nation-wide medical cost management solutions including, among other things, medical reimbursement services, and BUSH was employed as the company’s Director of Database Administration. SINGH and BUSH had considerable influence over the selection of vendors, specifically vendors of database administrators (“DBAs”), hired by the New York Company.
From 2008 to September 2012, various individuals collectively paid over $2.3 million in money and other benefits to SINGH and BUSH in exchange for SINGH’s and BUSH’s agreement to steer millions of dollars of the New York Company’s DBA business to them. Specifically, as alleged:
According to the Complaint, DHARAYAN, GUPTA, ATLURI, KUMAR, and KOPALLE paid the kickbacks and bribes through conduit companies established by BUSH and SINGH for the very purpose of disguising the true nature and origin of the illegal payments. To further conceal the bribery and kickback scheme, BUSH and SINGH sent false invoices to the conduit companies for consulting services that never occurred. Many of the kickbacks and bribes were paid pursuant to these false invoices.
DHARAYAN, 42, of Edison, New Jersey, GUPTA, 38 of East Windsor, New Jersey, ATLURI, 41, of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, KUMAR, 47, of Monroe, New Jersey, KOPALLE, 43, of Edison, New Jersey, and SIRIANI, 45, of Matawan, New Jersey, were each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, one count of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison, one count of honest services fraud, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison, and one count of violating the Travel Act, which carries a maximum term of five years in prison. DHARAYAN, GUPTA, ATLURI, KUMAR, and KOPALLE were also charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum term of 20 years in prison.
SINGH, 40, a resident of East Brunswick, New Jersey pled guilty to one count each of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, conspiracy to violate the Travel Act, honest services fraud, violating the Travel Act, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He faces a maximum penalty of 70 years in prison on all counts. BUSH, 41, a resident of Rahway, New Jersey, is charged with one count each of conspiracy to commit honest services fraud, conspiracy to violate the Travel Act, honest services fraud, violating the Travel Act, and conspiracy to commit money laundering. He also faces a maximum penalty of 70 years in prison if convicted on all counts.
Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding efforts of HHS-OIG and the U.S. Secret Service in the investigation. He also thanked the New York Company for its assistance and cooperation in the investigation.
This case is being handled by the Office’s Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason P. Hernandez is in charge of the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney Christine Magdo of the Office’s Asset Forfeiture Unit is responsible for the forfeiture aspects of the case.
The charges and allegations contained in the Complaint and the Information filed against BUSH are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.