HOUSTON – A 56-year-old business owner is set to appear in federal court for conspiring to commit mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Alamdar S. Hamdani.
Sudhakar Kalaga is charged in a one-count criminal information. He is expected to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Yvonne Ho at 2 p.m.
He allegedly engaged in a fraud scheme that ran for nine years.
“The consequences of illegal bribes and kickbacks can be devastating,” said Hamdani. “These charges demonstrate our continued commitment to protect victims from those who subvert competition using false, fraudulent and sham bids.”
The charges allege that from 2010 to 2019, Kalaga 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.
During that time, Kalaga allegedly 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, according t0 the allegations. In return, Kalaga allegedly paid the facilities manager millions of dollars in kickbacks. The information further alleges 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, according to the charges.
If convicted, 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.
A criminal information is a formal accusation of criminal conduct, not evidence. A defendant is presumed innocent unless convicted through due process of law.