WASHINGTON: A 44-year-old Indian-American equity fund manager has been charged with wire fraud in the US for embezzling more than USD 54 million from the private firm for which he worked.
Iftikar Ali Ahmed, aka Ifty, was indicted on Wednesday by a district court in Boston on four counts of wire fraud and three counts of making false statements on income tax returns.
Ahmed is currently a fugitive from justice. He was charged in a separate scheme in April 2015, and fled the county while on pre-trial release, the Justice Department said.
The indictment alleges that between 2004 and April 2015, Ahmed embezzled more than USD 54 million from the private equity firm for which he worked as a general partner and fund manager.
Ahmed embezzled the money through an elaborate scheme to defraud in which he submitted false invoices, substantially overstated the prices of international business deals he orchestrated on behalf of his employer and by setting up fraudulent bank accounts in the name of the firm for which he worked and the companies in which his employer invested, prosecutors alleged.
The indictment further alleges that Ahmed used the proceeds of his fraud to purchase a USD 9.6 million residence in Greenwich, Connecticut and a luxury condominium in New York for approximately USD 8.6 million.
On one occasion in November 2014, it is alleged that Ahmed recommended to his firm that it invest USD 20 million in an international company and justified the price by submitting fraudulent financial documents.
At the same time, Ahmed informed the international company that his employer had agreed to purchase shares for USD 2 million, the Justice department said.
The indictment alleges that Ahmed then directed the private equity firm to wire USD 2 million to another company and the remaining USD 18 million to an account that Ahmed falsely claimed was the company's account, but actually belonged to Ahmed.
The indictment further alleges that on January 12, 2015, Ahmed transferred the USD 18 million in fraud proceeds to his spouse and a portion of these funds was used to purchase a luxury condominium in New York City.