Last updated Sunday, 11 April 2021, 7:44 by Denis Chabrol
A Guyanese woman, who lives in Queens, New York, has been charged with swallowing the bank she worked for at US $ 1.7 million, according to the US Justice Department.
United States Attorney of the Southern District of New York, Audrey Strauss, United States Attorney of the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced a de-complaint criminal complaint accuses Gangadai Rampersaud Azim also known as Julie Azim.
She is accused of wire fraud, bank fraud, bank theft, money laundering, and conspiracy, for her role in a scheme to defraud her employer, a Manhattan bank, of approximately $ 1.7 million. Azim was arrested last week and presented before U.S. Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron.
US Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Gangadai Azim betrayed his position as a trusted bank employee to defraud the bank and misappropriate client funds for more than a dozen years. She is alleged to have stolen more than $ 1.7 million and concealed the scheme until absence from work led to her discovery. Now Azim is facing the prospect of a much longer absence from work. ”
Assistant FBI Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “Azim’s alleged $ 1.7 million fraud scheme not only victimized her employer, but also jeopardized the financial status of the customers whose accounts they treated. In the long run, cheating a financial institution in the hope of making an easy profit was only possible for federal payments and the potential for time behind bars. ”
According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed in Manhattan federal court:
Between August 2008 and January 2021, AZIM, a longtime employee of bank-1 bank in New York, New York, stole approximately $ 1.7 million from her employer. Over a period of about 12 years, Azim made hundreds of wire transfers from Bank-1 funds to co-conspirators and related companies, which sent portions of those bad funds into Azim’s personal bank account.
In furtherance of her plan to defraud Bank-1, Azim repeatedly made false entries in Bank-1 systems, misusing funds paid to Bank-1 by his clients to meet outstanding loan obligations and then extending maturity dates those loan obligations, doing. it seems as if the loan obligations have not yet been paid. When even the fraudulent extended maturity dates became due, AZIM originated new fraudulent loans. AZIM used the proceeds of those fraudulent loans to satisfy the loans for which she had previously incurred client payments. In doing so, AZIM abused its position at Bank-1 and enriched itself at the expense of its employer.
Azim’s fraud was discovered by Bank-1 when Azim took leave from his job at Bank-1 due to illness earlier this year. In January 2021, Bank-1 debited a client account from Bank-1 (“Client-1”) in order to pay off an outstanding loan obligation that Client-1 had owed. Client-1 then warned Bank-1 that the debit was improper, since Client-1, in fact, paid off that obligation in 2019. Upon further investigation, Bank-1 discovered that while the money had been drawn from Client-1’s account in or about 2019, Azim misused those funds, using them for purposes other than meeting Client-1’s obligation.
As a result of identifying this anomaly, Bank-1 officials discovered approximately 14 loan obligations (the “Fraudulent Loan Liabilities”), worth more than approximately $ 1 million, for which no underlying documents existed. Azim seems to have identified all of the Fraudulent Loan Obligations in Bank-1 systems so that the proceeds could be used, to a large extent, to repay outstanding loan obligations that are coming to maturity; those loan obligations had, in fact, already been met by clients, but Azim had misused the payments. In addition, Bank-1 officials discovered approximately five outstanding loan obligations, worth more than about $ 706,000, for which Azim appeared to have extended the maturity dates, even though the loan obligations had been paid for by the relevant clients.
AZIM appears to have misappropriated approximately $ 1.7 million of loan proceeds arising from the Fraudulent Loan Obligations and the inappropriate extended maturity dates. Over a period of approximately 12 years, between 2008 and 2020, AZIM caused approximately 200 wire transfers of Bank-1 funds, each for a sum of under $ 10,000, to be sent to third-party accounts, including some co-conspirators and associated companies, which returned portions of those funds to AZIM.
AZIM, 58, of Richmond Hill, New York, is accused in the Complaint of (1) conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; (2) bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; (3) wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; (4) bank robbery, robbery, or misappropriation, carrying a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison; (5) conspiracy to launder money, carrying a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison; and (6) money laundering, which carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. Congress prescribes the maximum possible sentences in this case and they are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendant will be decided by the judge.
Ms Strauss praised the FBI’s excellent investigative work in this case.
The case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Complex Fraud and Cybercrime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Katherine Reilly is in charge of the prosecution.
The allegations contained in the Complaint are mere charges, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.