Bathroom bribes land businessman in prison for one year
A technology company CEO who delivered bribes to a Detroit city official in restaurant bathrooms was sentenced Monday to one year in federal prison.
Parimal "Perry" Mehta, 55, of Northville was sentenced for paying more than $6,500 in bribes to Charles Dodd, the former director of Detroit’s Office of Departmental Technology Services.
U.S. District Judge Robert Cleland sentenced Mehta, the former CEO of Detroit-based information technology company FutureNet Group Inc., three months after Dodd was sent to prison for 20 months.
Prosecutors wanted Mehta to spend 30 months in prison for hand-delivering bribes from 2009 through August 2016 while seeking preferential treatment for his company.
In 2015 and 2016, the city paid FutureNet approximately $7.5 million, prosecutors said.
The bribes weren't always cash. Mehta also gave Dodd a bottle of cognac and paid for the city official to travel to North Carolina.
In all, Dodd received more than $29,500 in bribes from Mehta and another IT company.
Dodd, who had worked for the city since December 2007, resigned in September 2016.
Mehta’s company was a long-standing contractor with the city and won contracts without Dodd’s involvement and after open competition, defense lawyer Steve Fishman argued in a court filing.
“…there is no dispute that the city received full value for the services provided by FutureNet, and those services … saved the city a ton of money,” he wrote.
Mehta has “suffered greatly,” Fishman said.
The Justice Department barred him and FutureNet from receiving government contracts last year, a move that cost the firm more than $30 million and has jeopardized the employment of 100 workers, Fishman said.
The city also canceled a contract with the firm that would have paid approximately $9 million.
"Why would Perry Mehta jeopardize all of the success he has had in his life, both personally and professionally, by becoming involved with Mr. Dodd?" Fishman asked in the court filing. "Rest assured that Mr. Mehta has spent a ton of time since the onset of this case trying to answer that precise question."