Reddy and Padma Allen fled to their native India after leaving 200 employees in the lurch after raking in $450 million from the CityTime project.
Reddy Allen and his wife, Padma, once were rising stars in the world of computer consulting.
Their company, TechnoDyne, raked in more money as a subcontractor on the Bloomberg administration's CityTime payroll project than any other - $450 million since 2005.
TechnoDyne grew so rapidly that NJBiz dubbed it the No. 2 minority-owned firm in that state. Accounting giant Ernst & Young even honored Padma Allen as entrepreneur of the year last year.
Today, the Allens are fugitives.
They flew to their native India a few weeks ago, soon after federal prosecutors subpoenaed them to appear before a grand jury. Their company has since collapsed, leaving more than 200 employees out on the street.
Yesterday, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara unsealed indictments against the couple and their firm on charges of paying millions in kickbacks to get CityTime work, and for money laundering.
The indictment, along with the arrest of another former official from CityTime's prime contractor, Scientific Applications International Corp., brings to 11 the number of people charged with CityTime crimes since December. Two of those have pleaded guilty and are cooperating; a third has since died.
CityTime was "one of the largest and most brazen frauds ever committed against the city," Bharara said.
For its sheer size and complexity, it is unprecedented. Since the arrests began, prosecutors have seized more than $38 million in some 120 bank accounts for the scores of shell companies the crooks used across three continents to mask their transactions.
The most recent actions of the Allens demonstrate just how callous this pack of alleged thieves was.
On the night of May 31, employees of TechnoDyne learned by email their firm had closed its doors, effective that day.
When they tried to retrieve their final paychecks the next day, the employees were stunned to learn that the Allens had removed everyone from the payroll in mid-May.
More than 200 people, in other words, worked for two weeks without knowing they'd been dismissed. For that alone, the Allens deserve an old-fashioned whipping more than jail time.
Bharara's prosecutors and the staff of Commissioner for Investigation Rose Gill Hearn have done an amazing job of identifying $90 million bilked from taxpayers in this scheme.
Such contracts, Hearn said yesterday, are "the new frontier for corruption" in government.
To better protect against a repeat of CityTime, Hearn has been pressing Bloomberg for major reforms in the city's awarding of giant IT contracts.
Now it's up to City Council to make sure Bloomberg heeds Hearn's suggestions.