“The defendants compromised their positions by accepting bribes in the form of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of home renovations, electronics, and jewelry,” U.S Attorney Sellinger said.
November 30, 2023
RENTON, N.J. – A former airline corporate real estate director and former airline senior manager, as well as a former airline contractor, each admitted accepting bribes from a company in exchange for agreeing to assist the company obtain contracts from the airline, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced today.
Alok Saksena, 45, of Montclair, New Jersey, Anthony Rosalli, 44, of Burlington, New Jersey, and Lovella Rogan, 48, of Springfield, New Jersey each pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Zahid N. Quraishi in Trenton federal court to information that charged them with conspiracy to commit honest services wire fraud.
“The defendants compromised their positions by accepting bribes in the form of hundreds of thousands of dollars’ worth of home renovations, electronics, and jewelry,” U.S Attorney Sellinger said. “Commercial bribery of this kind corrupts the fairness of our economic system. We will hold to account those who unlawfully violate their duties to further their own economic interests.”
“Federal law requires an honest bidding process because if everyone in a position of authority demanded goods and services for their approval, the cost of doing business would be astronomical and untenable,” FBI – Newark Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy said. “These individuals admit to taking bribes in the form of home renovations, electronics and jewelry instead of money, thinking no one would notice. Greasing someone’s palm for a lucrative contract not only isn’t fair, but it’s also illegal.”
“The Port Authority thanks our federal partners for the collaborative work to ensure fairness within the myriad industries that operate out of our facilities and to bring these individuals to justice,” Port Authority Inspector General John Gay said.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Rosalli, Saksena, and Rogan all held positions with the airline that enabled them to influence which companies the airline would award certain contracts to at Newark Liberty International Airport (Newark Airport). The defendants conspired to receive bribes and kickbacks from a company that provided maintenance and construction services in exchange for helping that company obtain lucrative airline contracts at Newark Airport.
In September 2021, the maintenance and construction company bid on a contract to renovate restrooms at Newark Airport. The defendants sat on the selection committee and each of them voted to award the contract to the company. In exchange for the defendants’ help in obtaining the restroom renovation contract and with the expectation that they would use their positions to help the company obtain future contracts, the company agreed to pay for significant renovations at the defendants’ personal residences, including renovating and building bathrooms, renovating a deck, installing floors and sheetrock, and renovating a kitchen. The company gave the defendants valuable items, including electronics and jewelry. The total value of the bribes paid was approximately $539,000 to Saksena; approximately $276,000 to Rosalli; and approximately $409,000 to Rogan.
The defendants also conspired with an employee of the maintenance and construction company to fraudulently inflate change orders, which amended the contract’s scope of work, to recoup some of the bribe costs. With the defendants’ knowledge and consent, the company submitted change orders, which contained fraudulently high numbers, to obtain money not legitimately earned by the company so that the company could partially fund the bribe payments to the defendants.
The defendants face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing for Saksena is scheduled for April 17, 2024. Sentencing for Rosalli and Rogan is scheduled for April 18, 2024.
U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Dennehy in Newark, investigators from the Port Authority of New York & New Jersey Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Inspector General Gay, and special agents of the U.S. Attorney’s Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Thomas Mahoney, with the investigation leading to the guilty pleas.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Katherine Calle and Francesca Liquori of the Special Prosecutions Division and First Assistant U.S. Attorney Vikas Khanna.
Rogan: Frank Arleo Esq., West Orange, New Jersey
Rosalli: David Glassman Esq., Marlton, New Jersey
Saksena: Daniel Welsh Esq., Jersey City, New Jersey