Navy Contractor Charged With Bribes Released

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) - A federal magistrate judge released a U.S. Navy contractor charged in a $10 million kickback scheme on bond and restricted his travel.

Anjan Dutta-Gupta, of Roswell, Ga., appeared in federal court in Providence, R.I., on Tuesday on charges he bribed a public official in order to steal from the government.

Dutta-Gupta was released on unsecured bond, but was required to post a $10,000 bond within a week. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond also restricted Dutta-Gupta's travel to parts of Georgia, Washington, D.C., and Rhode Island, where his lawyers are based.

The 58-year-old Dutta-Gupta is accused of funneling kickbacks through various subcontractors to Ralph Mariano, a civilian Navy employee from Arlington, Va. In return, Mariano is accused of increasing funding for contracts held by Dutta-Gupta's company, Advanced Solutions for Tomorrow. The firm held $120 million in Navy contracts when the men were charged last week.

The Roswell, Ga.-based company, which had an office in Middletown, R.I., laid off its entire staff Monday.

Dutta-Gupta and his lawyers declined to comment on the allegations as they left court Tuesday. He has not been indicted, and he did not enter a plea. The date of his next court appearance was not immediately clear.

Dutta-Gupta's wife, who was a vice president at the company, and their two grown children and other relatives drove in a van from Georgia to Rhode Island to attend the hearing, one of his lawyers, John MacDonald, told the judge.

Mariano, the Navy employee, appeared before a magistrate judge in Rhode Island last week and was released on $50,000 unsecured bond.

Dutta-Gupta was arrested Feb. 6 as he returned to Georgia from a trip to Chile, which MacDonald said his client cut short when he learned of the allegations against him.

Prosecutors say the scheme dates back more than 10 years and involved inflated invoices and work that was paid for, but never performed.

Nobody else has been arrested, but prosecutors say the investigation is ongoing.