Indian IT Consultant Shivanand Maharaj (39) of Cresskill, NJ was found guilty of honest services wire fraud, paying kickbacks in connection with an employee benefit plan by a jury today in Manhattan federal court.
The federal jury after a two week trial convicted Shivanand Maharaj on:
- One count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud
- One count of wire fraud
- One count of giving kickbacks to influence the operation of an employee benefit plan
- Conspiracy to give kickbacks to influence the operation of an employee benefit plan
The co-conspirator of Shivanand Maharaj, Enrico Rubano (50) who was a director of information technology at a large union pension and health benefit fund pled guilty in connection with the same crimes shortly before the trial.
According to the indictment allegations and evidence presented during the trial in Manhattan federal court:
From 2009 through 2015, RUBANO was the co-head of information technology for the Funds and had the authority to approve the payment of invoices from third-party vendors. Beginning in at least 2009, and continuing through 2015, MAHARAJ and RUBANO devised a scheme in which three different companies MAHARAJ owned or controlled submitted to the Funds invoices for millions of dollars in information technology services that were never performed or that had, in fact, been performed by employees of the Funds or other vendors. RUBANO, in his position as co-head of information technology, approved these fraudulent invoices and received kickbacks from MAHARAJ. MAHARAJ, by submitting hundreds of invoices and recruiting another co-conspirator to receive additional criminal proceeds, fraudulently received in excess of $2 million through this scheme.
On each count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, Shivanand Maharaj faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.
And, on the counts of giving kickbacks and conspiracy to give kickbacks Shivanand Maharaj faces a maximum sentence of three years and five years respectively.
Shivanand Maharaj’s sentencing is scheduled for December 6, 2019.
The above mentioned maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided for informational purposes only.
The actual sentencing of the Shivanand Maharaj and Enrico Rubano will be determined by the Judge Koeltl of Manhattan federal court.