2020 | Courts

Rockville man sentenced to three years for $1.7 million fraud scheme

Authorities say money was used for condo, gambling

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Federal Court

Rakesh Kaushal, 66, of Rockville, was sentenced to three years in prison in federal court Tuesday for his role in defrauding his employer of more than $1.7 million

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A Rockville man was sentenced Tuesday to three years in prison for conspiring to defraud his employer of more than $1.7 million.

Rakesh Kaushal, 66, pleaded guilty in October to conspiracy, after telling the federal court that he worked for a construction and design company in Beltsville between August 2015 and January 2017 and submitted false payment requests. Kaushal said he used the money to buy a condominium in India for a family member and lost more than $100,000 gambling.

Kaushal said in his plea agreement that he recommended the Thrane companies, three construction companies in Maryland, to be subcontractors for his employer when he worked there.

He said he and the subcontractor’s owner, Ivan Victor Thrane, conspired to submit false payment requests to Kaushal’s employer, with Kaushal making the requests on behalf of the Thrane companies. Thrane or someone else would then sign the requests and email them to Kaushal, who would give them to a supervisor at his company.

After Kaushal’s company paid the Thrane companies, a portion of the money was funneled back to Kaushal, his plea agreement states.

Kaushal said in his plea agreement that his company paid the Thrane companies more than $3.2 million from September 2015 to December 2016, and Thrane issued 34 kickback payments totaling more than $1.7 million to Kaushal.

Kaushal’s sentencing was announced Tuesday afternoon in a press release from the U.S. attorney’s office. In addition to three years of incarceration, Kaushal must also serve three years of supervised probation following his release. He must pay restitution, with the exact amount to be determined.

Kaushal faced the prospect of up to 20 years in prison.

Thrane, 65, pleaded guilty in August to his role in the scheme and will face sentencing later.

Dan Schere can be reached at Daniel.schere@bethesdamagazine.com