Contractor Gets Probation For Filing False Claims

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TRENTON – A Somerset County contractor was sentenced Friday for submitting false payment claims on behalf of his family’s company under a contract to replace doors in four schools in Clark Township, Attorney General Anne Milgram announced.

Rantik Parikh, 48, of Warren, was sentenced to two years of probation by Superior Court Judge Robert Billmeier in Mercer County, according to Criminal Justice Director Deborah L. Gramiccioni.

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Parikh and the family company he operated, Parikh Inc., pleaded guilty on Sept. 28 to a criminal charge of submitting false contract payment claims.  Under the plea agreement, Parikh and Parikh Inc. are debarred from public contracts in New Jersey for a period of five years.

Deputy Attorney General Pearl Minato prosecuted the case for the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau and represented the state at the sentencing hearing.

The defendants were indicted last year for making false representations in submissions to the New Jersey Schools Construction Corporation, now the Schools Development Authority, in connection with a 2004 contract to replace doors at the Johnson, Kumpf, Valley Road and Hehnly Schools in Clark. In pleading guilty, Parikh admitted that he submitted false certifications in connection with payment claims filed under the $295,500 contract.

The investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau revealed that the defendants falsely certified in a January 2005 payment application to the Schools Construction Corporation that a subcontractor, Rangam Consultants Inc., had been paid for work performed.  They further certified that any additional money owed to any subcontractors would be paid within 10 days of receipt of the next contract payment.

Based on the representations, the SCC authorized a $57,000 payment to Parikh Inc. in May 2005. However, the state’s investigation revealed that the first time any money was paid to Rangam was nearly 18 months after the certification.

The investigation was conducted by Sgt. David Salzmann and Sgt. Frederick Weidman of the Division of Criminal Justice Corruption Bureau.


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