PHOTO BY: Image by mohamed Hassan from Pixabay
Fraud check

Boston – An Indian American woman, Shivani Patel, the former executive assistant of a Waltham-based technology company was arrested today (June 20) and charged in connection with a fraud and embezzlement scheme that allegedly netted over $3 million.

Patel, 37, of Vineyard Haven, was charged by criminal complaint with one count of bank fraud. She was arrested this morning and was due to appear before US Magistrate Judge Judith Dein.

Allegations and Details

As alleged in the complaint, Patel served as an executive assistant to the chief financial officer of a Waltham-based technology company. Her duties included retrieving incoming mail containing customer checks made payable to her employer, recording the checks into the payment system, and depositing the checks into her employer’s bank account.

From at least February 2012 through July 2017, Patel stole funds from her then employer for her personal use. Specifically, in February 2012, Patel created a company with a name nearly identical to that of her then employer — i.e., using her employer’s name but just adding an “s” to the end — and opened a business banking account in the sham company’s name. Thereafter, Patel allegedly began taking customer checks payable to her employer out of the mail, depositing those checks into the sham company’s bank account, and concealing her embezzlement by making false entries in her employer’s billing system. In total, Patel embezzled approximately $3,076,369 from her former employer.

Punishment

The charge of bank fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release, a fine of $1 million, restitution and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the US Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant US Attorney Justin D. O’Connell of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

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