August 28, 2020
By Caity Roach (née Witucki)
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday
Fraud Friday— Bank of America Manager Arrested for Embezzling $1.5 Million
Former Bank of America client relationship manager, Waqas Ali, was arrested last week for allegedly embezzling $1.5 million from one of his clients and using a portion of those funds to purchase a $63,293 Porsche SUV and luxury goods at Saks Fifth Avenue, Burberry, and Bloomingdales.
According to the FBI, on September 14, 2016, Ali opened a bank account in the name of a customer’s business without their knowledge or consent. Ali then allegedly ordered a debit card linked to the fraudulent account and directed that card to be mailed to his attention at his work address.
Once Ali received the debit card, he allegedly transferred $237,000 from the victim company’s commercial loan account and $1,286,000 from the victim company’s investment account into the fraudulent account. To conceal the criminal activity, he strategically transferred funds back into the victim’s accounts, leaving only $600,000 in the fraudulent account.
Ali used the $600,000 that he did not transfer back to the victim’s account to personally enrich himself through various luxury purchases and cash withdrawals. The Complaint alleges that $90,914 of the funds were used at luxury retail stores, $144,005 went toward paying personal credit card bills, and $63,293 went to a new SUV (which was later sold for cash).
The fraud was discovered in 2018 and Ali was fired from his position at Bank of America. He is now facing wire fraud and money laundering charges. If found guilty, Ali could face up to 40 years in federal prison.