June 28, 2019
By Dominic J Bartolone
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday – CEO Assistant Rips off $3 Million in Stolen Checks
A former executive assistant of a Boston-area technology company was arrested and charged in connection with a fraud and embezzlement scheme that allowed her to skim over $3 million from the business over a five-year period.
Shivani Patel, 37, was charged in U.S. District Court in Boston with one count of bank fraud.
According to court records, Patel worked as an executive assistant to the CEO. Part of her duties included receiving incoming mail containing checks made payable to her employer. It was her responsibility to document the checks received, enter them into the payment record system, and deposit the checks into company bank accounts.
From February 2012 through July 2017, Patel allegedly diverted funds intended for her employer for her personal use. Prosecutors say that in February 2012, Patel created a shell company with a nearly identical name as her employer, using only an “s” at the end of the fictitious name to differentiate the two.
Patel stole certain company checks as they came in and deposited them into the bank account of the fake company she created. She then concealed her embezzlement by making false entries into the company’s accounting system.
The company discovered the discrepancies during a 2017 audit which uncovered several checks which, despite showing as paid, could not be reconciled with the company’s bank account statements.
Patel allegedly used a portion of the stolen money to purchase a $640,000 home not far from the famed Martha’s Vineyard in Cape Cod.