Judge Gives Houston Woman Three Years for Role in Rip-Off of Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 30, 2013|
PHILADELPHIA—Aarti Gupte, 31, of Houston, Texas, was sentenced today to 36 months for her involvement in a scheme to defraud the Philadelphia Sheriff’s Office (PSO). Gupte was found guilty in June of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. The scheme stole funds from the PSO’s bank accounts. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Legrome D. Davis ordered $242,186.73 in restitution and three years of supervised release. Davis set a date of December 16, 2013, for Gupte to report to prison.
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.
The case was investigated by the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation, and the Office of Inspector General for the City of Philadelphia. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Grieb.