Pace Department Manager Arrested for Allegedly Accepting More Than $280,000 in Kickbacks and Gratuities
CHICAGO—The Department Manager of Applications at PACE was arrested yesterday on a federal complaint for allegedly accepting over $280,000 in kickbacks and gratuities in exchange for the influence he exerted in placing certain information technology (“IT”) contractors at PACE and in their employment at PACE.
In a criminal complaint that was filed on Monday in the U.S. District Court and unsealed yesterday, the defendant, RAJINDER SACHDEVA, 51, of Schaumburg, was charged with receiving kickbacks and gratuities in connection with his employment at PACE, which is the Suburban Bus Division of the Regional Transportation Authority and receives federal funds. He appeared yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Susan E. Cox in Federal Court and is being held in federal custody pending a detention hearing at 4:00 p.m. today before Magistrate Judge Cox.
Sachdeva was arrested yesterday without incident in Schaumburg. According to the complaint affidavit, Sachdeva oversees the implementation and performance of the database management system Oracle at PACE. According to the complaint, he supervises both PACE employees in the Applications Department and IT contractors from outside vendors that provide Oracle IT support at PACE.
According to the complaint affidavit, between January 2010 and the present, Sachdeva corruptly demanded, accepted, and agreed to accept kickbacks and gratuities, intending to be influenced and rewarded with the hiring and continued employment of IT contractors who worked at PACE via outside vendors. Sachdeva allegedly concealed payments that he received, either by obtaining the money through a company that employed the IT contractors and in which Sachdeva’s wife possessed an interest, or by obtaining payments directly from the IT contractors.
According to the complaint affidavit, Sachdeva, via his wife or his own consulting company, was paid in excess of $280,000 between 2010 and 2014, in exchange for the influence he exerted in placing certain IT contractors at PACE and in their continued employment at PACE. The complaint alleges that one of the IT contractors that Sachdeva placed at PACE in exchange for kickbacks and gratuities during approximately 2013 took over the PACE IT support services previously performed by a different contractor. Sachdeva allegedly told a cooperating witness that he wanted his share for placing people at PACE and that Sachdeva stated that the current contractor was only getting the job because of the defendant’s efforts.
According to the cooperating witness, who along with Sachdeva’s wife owned the company used to conceal the kickbacks, the company hired a contractor to serve as a subcontractor for a vendor that had a contract to provide IT support to PACE. This contractor then began to work as an IT contractor at PACE. While the contractor was working at PACE, the cooperating witness and Sachdeva’s wife’s company paid Sachdeva (via his consulting company) and his wife over $64,000.
The complaint also alleges that Sachdeva directed yet another contractor, a former PACE analyst supervised by Sachdeva, to submit invoices for PACE IT work to the cooperating witness and Sachdeva’s wife’s company using the false name “Sue Peters.” According to the complaint, this contractor then sent an invoice to their company using the false name, and caused an invoice to be submitted to the PACE IT vendor who then invoiced PACE for the time. PACE paid the invoice for “Sue Peters,” and the cooperating witness and Sachdeva’s wife’s company ultimately received the money they had invoiced for “Sue Peters.” Around that time, Sachdeva also directed the cooperating witness to pay the contractor, who submitted the false invoice, approximately 80% of what their company had billed for the “Sue Peters” invoice, which the cooperating witness did.
The arrest and charges were announced by Zachary T. Fardon, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, Robert J. Holley, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Michelle T. McVicker, regional Special Agent-in- Charge of the U.S. Department of Transportation, Office of Inspector General. PACE also assisted in the investigation.
The government is being represented by Assistant United States Attorneys Matthew F. Madden and Erika Csicsila.
A complaint contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.