Sudhakar Kalaga, a Sugar Land business owner, has pleaded guilty to a nine-year fraud in which he engaged in a bribery and bid rigging fraud to secure construction and maintenance work contracts.
Although the complaint filed in the Southern District of Texas doesn’t name the company, Toshiba International filed a lawsuit in 2019 against Mr. Kalaga and Pablo D’Agostino, a facilities manager employed by Toshiba in Houston. The company alleged that the two men conspired to trick it into awarding over $100 million in construction contracts to KIT Professionals, the company owned by Mr. Kalaga. Mr. D’Agostino died in 2019 before the case came to a conclusion.
From 2010 to 2019, Mr. Kalaga submitted fake bids to Toshiba to Mr D’Agostino, who coordinated the submission of the fake bids to make it appear Mr. Kalaga’s company was the low bidder. In exchange for rigging the bid process, Mr Kalaga paid Mr. D’Agostino millions of dollars in cash, luxury gifts and other items.
KIT Professionals has been awarded a lot of work by the City of Houston, although the guilty charge does not relate to any work done for the public sector. According to the Houston Chronicle, KIT was awarded $55 million in contracts between 2008 and 2022 ($50 million from the city and $5 million from Harris County).
Mr. Kalaga and his wife also donated $93,550 to 25 city candidates from 2007 to 2019. Houston mayor, Sylvester Turner, received $25,000.
Mr. Kalaga now faces up to five years in prison and a possible maximum fine of $250,000. His sentencing is scheduled for June 20.