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Indian-American executive of IT company agrees to plead guilty to embezzling $3 million

The Department of Justice (DOJ) logo is pictured on a wall after a news conference to discuss alleged fraud by Russian Diplomats in New York December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri

The former executive assistant of a Waltham, Massachusetts-based technology company has been charged and agreed to plead guilty in connection with a fraud and embezzlement scheme that netted over $3 million.

Shivani Patel, 38, of Vineyard Haven, was charged with bank fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns, according to an Oct. 7, Justice Department press release.

A plea hearing has not yet been scheduled by the Court.

According to the terms of the plea agreement, the government will recommend a sentence of 57 months in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine between $20,000 and $200,000, restitution and forfeiture.

Patel worked as an executive assistant to the chief financial officer of the company and 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 is alleged to have embezzled approximately $3,076,369 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.

Patel then took customer checks payable to her employer from the mail, deposited those checks into the sham company’s bank account, and concealed her embezzlement by making false entries in her employer’s billing system. To disguise and conceal the nature of these funds, Patel funneled this money through multiple bank accounts.

Patel is also accused of underreporting income for the tax years 2012 through 2016, during the time that she is said to have embezzled more than $3 million.

The charge of bank fraud carries a sentence of up to 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release, a fine of $1 million, restitution and forfeiture. The charge of money laundering provides for a sentence of up to 20 years, three years of supervised release, a fine of $500,000 or twice the amount involved in the transaction, restitution and forfeiture. The charge of filing false tax returns provides for a sentence of up to three years in prison, one year of supervised release, a fine of $100,000, restitution and forfeiture.

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