Owner of IT Services Company, Lakshmikanth Sripuram Pleads Guilty to Defrauding New York State
ALBANY, N.Y (STL.News) Lakshmikanth Sripuram, age 37, of Monmouth Junction, New Jersey, pled guilty today to wire fraud conspiracy in connection with a scheme to defraud New York State.
The announcement was made by Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon; New York State Comptroller Thomas P. DiNapoli; and Kevin Kelly, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Sripuram is the president of PIntegra, LLC. As part of his plea, he admitted that between 2015 and 2017, he conspired with Co-Conspirator 1, a former employee of the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC), to fraudulently obtain money from OSC.
In January 2015, OSC entered into a contract with a consortium of three companies to identify and hire computer programmers for a project. When OSC needed to hire a programmer, it sent a request form to one of the three companies. Each company then submitted a purportedly qualified applicant. Frequently, the applicants were employed by subcontractors, including PIntegra. From January 2015 through October 2016, OSC hired 17 programmers for the project at hourly rates ranging from $80 to $120. In late 2016, OSC learned that many of the programmers’ references and work histories were not legitimate, including those hired from PIntegra, and launched an internal investigation.
Sripuram admitted that, between February 2015 and October 2016, he and his co-conspirator ensured that programmers from PIntegra were hired by falsifying information regarding their experience and work histories, and by providing them with interview questions ahead of their interviews at OSC. Co-Conspirator 1 then interviewed the programmers, hired them knowing that their qualifications were falsified, and set their hourly rates. Between February 2015 and September 2017, PIntegra received approximately $870,000 from OSC for its programmers’ pay. Sripuram kept a percentage of the programmers’ pay. He then paid Co-Conspirator 1 a portion of that percentage as a kickback.
As a result of his conviction, Sripuram faces up to 20 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000, and a term of supervised release of up to 3 years, when he is sentenced on July 6, 2021 by United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.
This case was initiated by the Office of the New York State Comptroller, and was also investigated by HSI, the United States Postal Inspection Service, and the United States Department of Labor, Office of Inspector General, Office of Investigations. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Kopita.