Investigations

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FTA Debars NJ-based Construction Company and Its Owner

On May 30, the Federal Transit Administration instituted 3-year debarments against Bhavna Lokhandwala and her company, Bhavna Associates, Fair Lawn, NJ. The basis of the debarments was a bribery scheme perpetrated by Bhavna Lohkandwala and her husband, Talib.

On October 3, 2017, Talib Lokhandwala pleaded guilty to charges that he solicited and accepted bribe payments from two contractors scheduled to work on federally funded subway station projects for the New York City Transit Authority, an agency of the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA). The Lokhandwalas created a consulting company named Bhavna Associates for the sole purpose of receiving and disguising these payments. Talib Lokhandwala admitted that between March 2009 and May 2015, he received $152,420 in checks from several contractors in exchange for favorable treatment. He was the construction manager assigned to their projects and helped them expedite work orders and engineer's drawings, submit bid packages, and facilitate any issues that arose. 

DOT-OIG conducted this investigation with MTA-OIG. 

Note: Exclusion actions (suspensions and debarments) are typically for a specific period of time, and GSA’s System for Award Management (www.SAM.gov) should be consulted to find out whether a company or individual is currently excluded.