U.S.-based federal investigators charge eight people in connection with multi-million dollar IT services kickback scheme that ran for four years

The United States Secret Service laid charges on eight people early this month in connection with a wide reaching IT services scam operations that involved technology vendors paying more than $2.3 million in bribes and kickbacks to executives of a Manhattan-based medical cost management company.

“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 company,” said Manhattan U.S. Attorney General Preet Bharara in statement. “…the defendants achieved their years-long fraud through fake companies, sham invoices and made-up consulting services.

The statement identified the defendants but not their companies.

A spokesperson for MultiPlan Inc. in New York told online technology publication Computerworld.com that two of those charged were employees of the firm. The company has 900,000 healthcare providers and about 57 million consumers who access its products.

The defendants charged with paying the bribes and kickbacks are Sarvesh Dharayan, Sanjay Gupta, Venkata Atluri, Rangarajan Kumar, Vadan Kumar Kopalle, and Darren Siriani.

Those charged with receiving the bribes and kickbacks were Anil Singh, a former CIO and Keith Bush, a director of database administration, according to the U.S. attorney general’s statement.

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“Singh and Bush has considerable influence over the selection of vendors, specifically vendors of database administrators (DBAs), hired by the New York company,” according to the statement.

The scam ran like this: One vendor would receive $105 to $115 per hour from the medical cost management firm for database administration services. The vendor kept $62 per hour and the remaining $43 was allegedly pocket by the two executives.

From 2008 to September 2012, the six defendants charged with bribery “collectively paid over $2.3 million and other benefits” to Singh and Bush.

The kickbacks and bribes were paid through conduit companies established by the two executives in order to disguise the true nature of the payments. Singh and Bush also sent fake invoices to the conduit companies for IT services that never occurred.

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