Nimesh Patel, who admitted to participating in a bribery and kickback scheme involving a local tech firm and a national not-for-profit, has been sentenced to three months in federal prison.
New York District Judge Katherine Forrest handed down the sentence Friday. Shel also sentenced him to forfeiture in the amount $145,015, restitution in the same amount and one year of supervised release after prison.
Patel pleaded guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.
The 46-year-old Patel received a harsher punishment than his co-conspirator, former executive Dilip Vadlamudi, who was sentenced to three years of probation by Forrest on Sept. 26. Patel also had been hoping to avoid prison time.
According to the indictment, Vadlamudi, founder of Indianapolis-based Pyramid Technology Solutions, funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars to Patel—the former senior director of IT at the national headquarters of the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society in Westchester, New Jersey—in return for millions of dollars of IT work from the 1,500-employee not-for-profit.
Both men were arrested and charged in December 2016.
Investigators say Patel used his position at the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society to hire workers from Vadlamudi’s firm. The society paid Vadlamudi’s company about $2.2 million for about 36 temporary IT workers from 2012 to 2014.
In return for the business, Vadlamudi funneled $274,000 in illegal kickbacks to Patel, the indictment alleged. Investigators say Vadlamudi made the payments from the bank account of an unnamed company he owned into an account of a shell company set up by Patel.
Patel used those funds to make an $80,000 down payment on a residence, buy a life insurance policy and pay credit card bills, according to the indictment.
When the not-for-profit launched a probe into Patel’s activities in late 2014, he told investigators that he barely knew Vadlamudi and had little contact with him.
Investigators said they later uncovered nearly 800 emails the two exchanged from 2009 to 2014.
Pyramid Technology Solutions, 9535 E 59th St., was founded in 1998 and offers numerous IT-related services, including consulting, cloud and enterprise solutions, and temporary and permanent staffing.
Vadlamudi resigned as president of Pyramid as a result of his conduct.