Former CIO sentenced to two years in prison for accepting approximately $1 million in bribes for awarding contracts

 

Date: December 13, 2019

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

TRENTON, N.J. — A Roslyn, New York, man was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for demanding bribes in exchange for his assistance in securing contracts between a Texas financial services company and two New Jersey information technology staffing companies, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.

Mark Berger, 59, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Michael A. Shipp to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to violate the Travel Act. Judge Shipp imposed the sentence today in Trenton federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From January 2011 through March 2013, Berger was the chief information officer of SWBC, a financial services company based in Texas, and had the ability and authority to hire certain companies to perform work. Berger entered into contracts between SWBC and two companies based in New Jersey, including DaVinci Technology Corp., for information technology and staffing services.

As a condition of the contracts, Berger demanded that the owner of the IT companies, Anthony Curlo of Chester, New Jersey, pay him a certain percentage of the monies that the companies would receive from SWBC.

The IT companies received approximately $3 million in revenue from SWBC. Under the terms of the illegal kickback arrangement between Berger and Curlo, Berger was supposed to receive $1.14 million in kickback payments. Berger actually received $985,000 in cash payments, which were delivered to his home in New York.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Shipp sentenced Berger to two years of supervised release.

Curlo previously pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme on Sept. 21, 2016 and is awaiting sentencing.

U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur in Newark, with the investigation leading to today's sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan W. Romankow of the U.S. Attorney's Office Criminal Division in Newark.