Pace manager accused of taking $280K in kickbacks from contractors

  • A Pace bus travels through Arlington Heights.

      A Pace bus travels through Arlington Heights. Joe Lewnard | Staff Photographer

 
 
Updated 4/16/2015 6:41 PM

A department manager at Pace suburban bus service was released on bail from federal custody Thursday after being accused of taking more than $280,000 in kickbacks and gratuities involving IT contracts and contractors with the agency.

Rajinder Sachdeva, 51, of Schaumburg was arrested Wednesday. He could not be reached for comment Thursday. Conditions of his release by Judge Susan Cox required that he be under home confinement and electronic monitoring and subject to $300,000 bail secured by $150,000 in cash.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

Sachdeva, the department manager of applications at Arlington Heights-based Pace, is accused of demanding and accepting kickbacks since 2010 from information technology contractors working at Pace.

Pace Chairman Richard Kwasneski said in a statement that "we place the utmost importance on maintaining the public's trust, so it was without hesitation that we actively partnered with the FBI and the U.S. attorney's office over the last several months as they worked to conduct the investigation.

"We will continue to assist, as this is an ongoing investigation."

According to the federal complaint, Sachdeva concealed some of the payments that he received by funneling money through a business prosecutors call "Company B" that employed the IT contractors and in which Sachdeva's wife had an interest.

Sachdeva was a silent partner in "Company B," prosecutors said.

Sachdeva's partner at the company wore a wire during a meeting in early January at a Schaumburg McDonald's. Sachdeva was recorded by the FBI warning the partner against filing certain tax documents, agents said.

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"This is clean, I tell you," Sachdeva was recorded saying Jan. 23. "If you issue me a (tax form) 1099, then that will be a problem."

The complaint alleges that one of the IT contractors Sachdeva placed at Pace in 2013 in exchange for kickbacks took over a job previously held by a different contractor. According to the complaint, Sachdeva told the partner, who became a cooperating witness, that the contractor was getting the job only because of Sachdeva's efforts.

The complaint describes one instance in which Sachdeva is accused of telling a contractor -- a former Pace analyst supervised by Sachdeva -- to submit invoices for IT work to Company B using the false name "Sue Peters."

According to the complaint, this contractor sent an invoice using the false name, which was forwarded to another Pace IT vendor. Pace paid the invoice for "Sue Peters," which ended up ultimately being received by Company B. The contractor was then paid 80 percent of the total amount invoiced.

Sachdeva's wife is not named in the complaint and is not charged.

A preliminary hearing is set for April 29.

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