A Warwick, R.I., man has been sentenced for 10 years in prison after defrauding the U.S. Navy of almost $18 million.
Ralph Mariano, 55, pled guilty this past May to conspiracy and theft of government funds.
Mariano, a former senior systems engineer with the U.S. Navy's Naval Sea Systems Command (NAVSEA), used his position to mastermind a kickback scheme, ordering millions of dollars in fraudulent invoices, and then collecting a portion of the funds.
Reports indicate that Mariano ordered a software specialist, Russell Spencer, to submit the invoices to a Navy contractor and a subcontractor. He then ordered the two entities to pay Spencer using government funding from the Navy. Those invoices totaled approximately $17,957,000.