A pair of men from Rockland and Bergen County are facing up to four decades in prison for their roles in a multimillion-dollar invoicing scam that defrauded a company from its health and retirement fund.
United States Attorney Preet Bharara and Philip Bartlett, the Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, announced Thursday that Tappan resident Enrico Rubano, also known as “Rick Rubano,” and Cresskill resident Shivanand Maharaj were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a false invoicing scheme that defrauded a health and retirement funds of millions.
According to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, over a period of six years, Rubano, Maharaj and their co-conspirators generated hundreds of invoices for work they had not performed. Rubano, who was the the co-head of information technology for the company, approved the payments.
Both Rubano and Maharaj were arrested on Thursday and are scheduled to be arraigned before United States Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck.
“As alleged, Enrico Rubano used his position as the co-head of IT for a health and retirement benefit fund to perpetrate a scheme to falsely invoice millions of dollars from the fund for consulting work never actually performed,” Bharara said in a statement. “Rubano allegedly had the fund make payments based on hundreds of fake invoices to Shivanand Maharaj’s company, not for IT work actually done by that company, but really in exchange for alleged kickback payments to Rubano.
“Money that should have gone to help pay retirement and health care benefits were instead allegedly diverted to Rubano and Maharaj.”
Between 2008 and 2015, Rubano allegedly approved the payment of thousands of invoices from third-party vendors for work that was never performed. In total, it is estimated that Rubano and Maharaj falsely billed and fraudulently received nearly $3.5 million illegally.
Rubano and Maharaj were each charged with two counts of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, each of which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. The investigation is ongoing, according to Bharara.
“These defendants devised a scheme to falsely bill their client for work that was never performed by allegedly using an ‘inside’ employee to approve bogus invoices,” Bartlett stated. “They went one step too far when they decided to use the US Mail to facilitate their criminal misdeeds. Postal Inspectors will resolutely pursue fraudsters who use the U.S. mail to facilitate fraud schemes.”