Former Indian-American New York City employee sentenced to prison for accepting bribes


A U.S. District Judge has sentenced an Indian-American who used to be a senior New York City employee, to almost 4 years in prison for soliciting and accepting bribes relating to the construction industry.

At the federal courthouse in Brooklyn, Talib Lokhandwala, a former construction project administrator with the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA), was sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Dora L. Irizarry on Feb. 23, to 46 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. Lokhandvala pleaded guilty in October 2017 to having solicited and received bribes from two contractors working on two New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA) projects. The Court also imposed a fine of $20,000.

According to court filings and facts presented at the sentencing, from March 2009 through May 2015, Lokhandwala, who was employed in various positions charged with overseeing MTA construction projects, solicited and received bribes totaling $152,420 from two contractors performing construction projects on NYCTA subway lines.  Lokhandwala concealed his receipt of the bribe payments by having the contractors issue checks to shell bank accounts he controlled, a press release from the office of the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York says.  In exchange for the bribes, Lokhandwala promised to steer future work to the contractors and to expedite bureaucratic paperwork for their benefit.  Lokhandwala threatened to bar the contractors from future projects if they did not continue to pay him, the court filings say.

Lokhandwala, 64, is a resident of Fair Lawn, New Jersey, according to the press release.