Former State Employee, Tech Company CEO Charged in Fraud Scheme
COLUMBUS, Ohio – A federal grand jury has charged Jatinder Singh, 42, of Dublin, and Anju Vallabhaneni, 49, of Hilliard, with wire fraud, conspiracy and destruction of records in an indictment returned in Columbus.
Benjamin C. Glassman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Randall J. Meyer, State of Ohio Inspector General, Angela L. Byers, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Cincinnati Field Division and James Vanderberg, Special Agent in Charge, United States Department of Labor – Office of the Inspector General announced the indictment returned today.
Singh was employed as a Solution Manager with the State of Ohio. Namely, his work included developing and implementing software for the automation of the appeals process for the Ohio Unemployment Compensation Review Commission (UCRC).
Vallabhaneni was the CEO of United Software Group, headquartered in Dublin, Ohio, which was a registered vendor with the State of Ohio. As a vendor, the company provided an information technology contractor to work on the appeals process automation project with Singh.
The United States Department of Labor had provided more than $3 million for the State of Ohio to develop the automation program.
The nine-count indictment alleges that in order to execute their scheme, Vallabhaneni and Singh allegedly told officials with the State of West of Virginia that Singh was part of United Software Group and did not disclose that Singh was an employee of the State of Ohio. They allegedly pitched their automation program to State of West Virginia Officials as their own project rather than one being developed by the State of Ohio.
It is alleged that the purpose of their scheme was to obtain computer code and other information from the State of Ohio’s automation solution for the unemployment compensation appeals process; to use that information to sell the same program to the State of West Virginia; to keep West Virginia officials from learning that the automation solution they were being shown belonged to Ohio and was developed in part with funding from the United States Department of Labor; and to claim falsely that United Software Group had developed an “off the shelf” automation solution to meet West Virginia’s needs.
Throughout this scheme, it is alleged that Singh and Vallabhaneni committed seven counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and that Singh committed one count of destruction, alteration or falsification of records. Each crime is punishable by up to 20 years in prison.
Ultimately, the State of West Virginia declined to allocate the nearly $1 million bid for the automation program from Singh and Vallabhaneni for budgetary reasons.
Acting U.S. Attorney Glassman commended the investigation of this case by the FBI, State of Ohio Office of Inspector General and the Department of Labor OIG, as well as Assistant United States Attorneys Deborah Solove and Jessica W. Knight, who are prosecuting the case.
An indictment merely contains allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.