Houston Woman Convicted for Role in Rip-Off of Philadelphia’s Sheriff’s Office
|U.S. Attorney’s Office June 04, 2013|
PHILADELPHIA—A federal jury today returned guilty verdicts on all counts against Aarti Gupte, 31, of Houston, Texas, for her involvement in scheme to defraud the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office (PSO). The jury found Gupte guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. The scheme stole funds from the PSO’s bank accounts.
Sheriff’s sales of real estate generate millions of dollars annually. The sales require the PSO to write checks to different entities with regard to the properties sold. Co-conspirator Richard Bell, who was charged separately and pleaded guilty, was a PSO employee in the Accounting Department who took advantage of loose controls and wrote checks drawn on the PSO’s bank accounts made payable to individuals and companies. Bell gave some of the checks to Robert Rogers, who has also pleaded guilty. Rogers recruited Aarti Gupte, who had two companies, to participate in the scheme. Bell wrote four checks, totaling $242,186.73, to The Processing Link and Yellow Rose Enterprises LLC during the period from 2009 to 2010. Gupte deposited the checks into her company bank accounts, withdrew the proceeds, and shared them with Rogers who shared with Bell. When approached by Federal Bureau of Investigation agents, the defendant admitted that she had participated in this scheme to defraud the PSO.
U.S. District Court Judge Legrome D. Davis scheduled sentencing for September 16, 2013. Gupte faces a statutory maximum sentence of 60 years in prison.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Grieb.