Vineyard Woman Sentenced in Connection with Embezzling Over $3 Million

Gets four years in prison, must pay restitution and forfeiture...

BOSTON – The former executive assistant of a Waltham-based technology company was sentenced today in connection with a fraud and embezzlement scheme that netted over $3 million.

Shivani Patel, 38, of Vineyard Haven, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Leo T. Sorokin to four years in prison, five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $3,819,366 and forfeiture of $3,076,369. In October 2019, Patel pleaded guilty to one count each of bank fraud, money laundering and filing false tax returns.

As an executive assistant to the chief financial officer, Patel’s 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 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 —  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 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.

In addition, Patel filed income tax returns for the tax years 2012 through 2016 in which she intentionally underreported her income by failing to disclose the money she had stolen from her employer. 

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 U.S. Attorney Justin D. O’Connell of Lelling’s Securities and Financial Fraud Unit prosecuted the case.


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