Indian American Pulled up in Bribery Conspiracy
A 39-year-old Indian origin man, Anuj Sud, who was also former commissioner of Maryland liquor board, has been indicted by US court on charges of soliciting bribes while on duty as a state government employee.
Federal authorities had arrested Anuj Sud of Hyattsville, Maryland as part of the larger investigation about corrupt practices in Prince George’s County liquor board. The board has liquor store owners and legislators as its members.
Sud was a licensed attorney in Maryland since 2005. The court documents states that in September 2015, Sud solicited favors from a lobbyist in exchange for his assistance to the liquor board matters. In subsequent meetings, Sud and the lobbyist also discussed about voting favorably for lobbyist’s clients in upcoming hearings in exchange for money. Sud proceeded to take favorable action on behalf of the lobbyist’s clients in two hearings. For this, he was given $1000 as cash. In addition, he received another $1000 for a case in November 2016. The court documents say that he voted for giving a restaurant a new liquor license and allowed business to sell alcohol on Sundays in exchange for money. For this offence, he would be facing a maximum sentence of ten years in prison.
Sud resigned from the board after his arrest. Others who were arrested as part of the federal bribery probe include former liquor board administrator David Dae Sok Son and former state delegates Michael L. Vaughn and William Campos. Campos pleaded guilty while Vaughn has pleaded not guilty.
Other Cases of Bribery
These cases of bribery are not entirely isolated. Last year, an Indian American businessman was charged for offering bribe to a city council member to obtain support for proposed fee increase for towing and vehicle storage. The indictment accuses Sukhbir Singh and his company of trying to “influence and reward” the city council member who was a “cooperating witness.”
Singh was also pulled up for making false statements to the FBI in October where he said that he never discussed the proposed tow fee increase with city council member. The city Council member, as a cooperating witness, was working with FBI. According to the complaint filed, he gave a total of $2,650 in cheques to the city council member between August 2013 and March 2015.
Again, last year Kamta Ramnarine, co-owner of an aircraft maintenance company was charged under the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act for his involvement in a $2 million dollar bribery case involving Mexican officials.
According to the investigators, millions of dollars were paid in bribe in exchange for aviation contracts that placed other legitimate businesses at a disadvantage. Ramnarine made an admission of bribery and of conspiring to bribe several foreign officials to make sure that his company got aircraft parts and contracts from Mexican government owned customers.