HOUSTON – U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani announced that a 56-year-old business owner will appear in federal court for conspiracy to commit mail fraud.
Sudhakar Kalaga was charged with one count.He is expected to make his first court appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Yvonne Ho at 2 p.m.
He was allegedly involved in a fraudulent scheme that ran for nine years.
“The consequences of illegal bribes and kickbacks can be devastating,” Hamdani said. “These allegations demonstrate our continued commitment to protecting victims from those who use false, fraudulent and false bids to undermine competition.”
The charges allege that from 2010 to 2019, Kalaga participated in a bribery and bid-rigging fraud scheme to secure construction and maintenance work contracts from a company with a manufacturing facility in Houston.
During that time, Caraga allegedly submitted sham bids from non-existent construction firms to the facility manager of the victim company. According to the allegations, this was done to make his firm’s bid appear to be the lowest. In return, Caraga allegedly paid millions of dollars in kickbacks to facility managers. The information also alleges that Kalaga failed to disclose that he submitted false bids and paid kickbacks using the victim company’s own funds.
According to the allegations, the victim company would not have paid Kalaga’s invoices if it had known about the false bids or kickback payments.
If convicted, Kalaga faces up to five years in federal prison and a fine of up to $250,000.
The FBI investigated.Assistant U.S. Attorney Belinda Beek is prosecuting the case.
Criminal information is a formal charge of criminal conduct, not evidence. Defendants are presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.