- The former aerospace outsourcing executive allegedly participated in an eight-year scheme that illegally limited workers’ career prospects and earnings.
A former aerospace outsourcing executive has been charged in connection with a key role he allegedly played in a long-running antitrust conspiracy. Indian American Mahesh Patel, of Glastonbury, Connecticut, a former director of global engineering services at a major aerospace engineering company, allegedly participated in an eight-year scheme that illegally limited workers’ career prospects and earnings, according to a Department of Justice press release.
Citing the criminal complaint filed in court, the DOJ press release said “Patel conspired with managers and executives of several outsource engineering suppliers to restrict the hiring and recruiting of engineers and other skilled laborers among their respective companies.” Patel enforced this agreement while serving as an intermediary between conspiring suppliers, the press release said.
Patel appeared remotely before a federal court in Hartford, Connecticut, last week. He was released on conditions including travel restrictions and a $100,000 appearance bond.
According to the affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, Patel upheld a conspiracy among aerospace companies not to hire or recruit one another’s employees. At times, he confronted and berated the suppliers who cheated on the agreement, “often at the direct behest of another supplier,” the DOJ press release said, citing the affidavit.
He also threatened to punish nonconforming suppliers by taking away valuable access to projects. “In addition, as the complaint alleges, Patel and co-conspirators recognized the mutual financial benefit of this agreement — namely, reducing the rise in labor costs that would occur when aerospace workers were free to find new employment in a competitive environment,” the affidavit notes.