A judge sentenced Sanjaya Bahel, a 57-year-old former procurement official at the United Nations, to just over eight years in prison Tuesday for helping to direct some $50 million of contracts to a friend in exchange for favors.
"All that I have has been lost," Bahel told the judge, Reuters reports. "I stand before you, a devastated and broken man."
During the trial, prosecutors said Bahel gave inside information and expert advice to help secure contracts for two companies— the Indian government-owned Telecommunications Consultants India Ltd. and Thunderbird Industries LLC—represented by [longtime family friend Nishan] Kohli.
In return, prosecutors argued, Bahel was awarded 10 percent of Kohli's profits earned through U.N. business, first-class plane tickets and reduced prices as a renter, and then buyer, of a $1.5 million luxury apartment close to the U.N. headquarters in Manhattan.
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