Sugar Land business owner pleads guilty to nine-year fraud scheme
HOUSTON – A 56-year-old business owner has admitted to conspiring to commit mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Sudhakar Kalaga admitted that from 2010 to 2019, he engaged in a bribery and bid rigging fraud scheme to secure construction and maintenance work contracts from a company with a manufacturing facility in Houston.
Kalaga admitted he submitted fake bids from non-existent construction companies to the victim company’s facilities manager. This was designed to make it appear his companies’ bids were the lowest. In return, Kalaga paid the facilities manager millions of dollars in kickbacks. Kalaga failed to disclose he was submitting falsified bids and paying kickbacks from the victim company’s own funds.
The victim company would not have paid Kalaga’s companies’ invoices had it known about the falsified bids or the kickback payments.
Sentencing has been set for June 20 before U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal. At that time, Kalaga faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
The FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Belinda Beek is prosecuting the case.