September 11, 2018
Former Principal at New Jersey Contractor Debarred by FTA for Making Illegal Payments to NYCTA Official
On September 11, 2018, the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) debarred Mansukh Patel, former principal of Vista Engineering Corp. (Vista), from participation in Federal procurement and nonprocurement programs for 3 years. The debarment was due to a series of illicit payments Patel made to Talib Lokhandwala, a former senior director of the New York City Transit Authority (NYCTA), a subsidiary of the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), in connection with Vista's participation as a contractor on NYCTA projects. Between March 2009 and May 2015, Lokhandwala received $152,400 from several contractors, including Vista, in exchange for favorable treatment. As the construction manager assigned to their projects, he helped the contractors expedite work orders and engineer’s drawings, submit bid packages, and facilitate any issues that arose. Lokhandwala was sentenced to 46 months in Federal prison for his role in the scheme.
FTA subsidizes MTA and NYCTA construction projects.
DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with MTA-OIG.
Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are frequently for a specific period of time and the System for Award Management (Sam.gov) should be consulted to find out whether a company is currently excluded.