NEW YORK – An Indian American entrepreneur, Parimal Mehta, the founder and owner of FutureNet, an IT company in Detroit, Michigan, is facing an 11-count indictment for a series of payments he was said to have made to Charles Dodd, who at the time was the director of Detroit’s Office of Departmental Technology Services, reported The Register.
Mehta, 54, a former top executive at FutureNet Group Inc., has been charged with five counts of honest services mail and wire fraud, one count of federal program bribery and five counts of unlawfully using interstate facilities, according to a U.S. Department of Justice press release.
The indictment accuses Mehta of making cash payments to Dodd from 2009 through August of 2016, in exchange for preferential treatment for his company.
According to the Crains Detroit Business report, Dodd pleaded guilty in 2016 to accepting more than $29,500 in bribe payments from two information technology companies.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the payments were often made in sums of $400 or $500 which Mehta directly paid to Dodd while they were in the restroom of various Detroit restaurants.
In addition to handing over the alleged envelopes stuffed with dollar bills, Mehta is also accused of buying Dodd’s favor with a bottle of cognac, and giving his wife and two stepchildren jobs at FutureNet, according to The Register.
Among the deals the city awarded to FutureNet during that time were a $2.8m Accela software implementation project used to manage building safety inspections and permits for Detroit and further multi-million-dollar agreements to expand and support the system, according to The Register.
According to the indictment, altogether FutureNet received about $7.5 million from the city in 2015 and 2016,
“On a regular basis, Dodd directed lucrative city business to FutureNet, including by approving the selection of FutureNet to provide numerous contract employees to perform work for Detroit, and by advising other city officials to select FutureNet to provide such contract employees. Detroit paid FutureNet up to approximately $94 per hour for the services of such contract employees, much or which was retained by FutureNet as profit,” the complaint reads.