HomeIndian AmericanEx-Cisco employee charged with defrauding company of $9.3 million
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Ex-Cisco employee charged with defrauding company of $9.3 million

A former employee at Cisco faces charges of using shell companies to defraud his then employer of more than $9.3 million, reports the San Francisco Chronicle.

Authorities arrested Prithviraj R. Bhikha, 50, at San Francisco International Airport and charged him with wire fraud.

He served as the director in the global supply chain unit of Cisco until the end of his employment in mid-2017.

The FBI says Bhikha circumvented the company by gaining support for a new project that he later controlled. The proposed initiative allowed him to negotiate with third party vendors on behalf of Cisco and oversee payment transfers.

Prosecutors accused him of establishing illegitimate foreign entities to launder the company’s money. Cisco wired approximately $6.5 million to one of the companies, and about $2.8 million to another.

According to the Economic Times, court documents said that more than $8.5 million was wired back from these two shell companies to a U.S. bank owned by Bhikha and his wife. When Cisco Systems employees became suspicious of the operations, Bhika allegedly recruited a co-worker to pose at the chief executive officer of one of the false business entities.

Bhikha currently faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine. He was released on a $3 million bond.

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