michigan bribery

Parimal Mehta, owner of FutureNet Group, Inc. (FutureNet photo)

DETROIT (AP) — The Indian American owner of an information technology firm has been indicted in a scheme that allowed the company to get preferential treatment on contracts with the city of Detroit.

The Justice Department said Jan. 31 that 54-year-old Parimal Mehta faces bribery and mail and wire fraud charges.

His FutureNet Group, Inc. supplied contract personnel in Detroit's IT department and implemented technology projects for the city. Detroit-based FutureNet is alleged to have received about $7.5 million from the city in 2015 and 2016.

The government says that between 2009 and 2016 multiple cash payments were made to then-city information technology services chief Charles Dodd, Jr. Dodd pleaded guilty in 2016 to accepting more than $29,000 in bribe payments.

The Associated Press left a message Jan. 31 seeking comment from Mehta.

A Department of Justice press release adds: Mehta, of Northville, Michigan, was charged in an 11-count indictment filed in the Eastern District of Michigan with five counts of honest services mail and wire fraud, one count of federal program bribery, and five counts of unlawfully using interstate facilities to commit bribery under Michigan law.

Mehta is also alleged to have employed Dodd’s family members at FutureNet and its subsidiaries.

According to the indictment, Mehta and FutureNet benefitted from Dodd’s influence over the administration of city contracts, expenditures under those contracts, and the hiring and selection of contract personnel. The indictment further alleges that Mehta obtained confidential information about Detroit’s internal budgets for specific technology projects.

According to FutureNet, Mehta earned a B.S. in civil engineering at SVNIT, and an M.S. in environmental engineering from the University of New Haven in Connecticut.

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