By Alana Cerrone
A Warwick man has been sentenced for 10 years in prison after defrauding the U.S. Navy of almost $18 million.
Ralph Mariano, 55, pled guilty this past May to conspiracy and theft of government funds.
Mariano, a former senior systems engineer with the U.S. Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), used his position to mastermind a kickback scheme, ordering millions of dollars in fraudulent invoices, and then collecting a portion of the funds.
Reports indicate that Mariano ordered a software specialist, Russell Spencer, to submit the invoices to a Navy contractor and a subcontractor. He then ordered the two entities to pay Spencer using government funding from the Navy. Those invoices totaled approximately $17,957,000.
Then, Mariano directed Spencer to give that money to Mariano and others close to him; Mariano himself received about $3 million in checks and bi-weekly cash payments of $3,500.
An additional $2,567,028 was paid to his father, Ralph Mariano, Jr.; $1,692,650 was paid to his brother, Joseph Mariano and to his companies; $207,900 was paid to a veterinary laboratory company controlled by his sister, Michelle Mariano; $2,446,445 was paid to private entities controlled by Anjan Dutta-Gupta, CEO of ASFT; and $478,880 was paid to a company owned by Attorney Mary O'Rourke, of Warwick.
Mariano also pleaded guilty to one count of tax evasion when he failed to report $1,864,910 in income and failed to pay $726,650 in taxes.
In addition to 10 years prison, U.S. District Court Chief Judge Mary M. Lisi ordered Mariano to make restitution to the U.S. Navy in the amount of $17,957,000; to pay a $10,000 fine; and to serve 3 years supervised release following his imprisonment.
© WLNE-TV 2013