Bank employee in New York pleads guilty to defrauding employer of nearly $1.7 million

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Gangadai Rampersaud Azim, a/k/a “Julie Azim,” pled guilty June 28, 2021, to a more than decade-long conspiracy to commit bank fraud, defrauding her employer, a Manhattan-based bank, by misappropriating approximately $1.7 million.

Azim, 58, of Richmond Hill, New York, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Katherine Polk Failla, announced Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, in a press release in which the victim bank is not identified by name.

She pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit bank fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison.  She is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Failla on October 19, 2021, at 3:30 p.m.

According to the allegations in the Complaint, court filings, and statements made during plea proceedings, Azim, a long-time employee of a New York, New York-based bank, committed the fraud over a period of 12 years between August 2008 and January 2021, when she “executed hundreds of wire transfers of Bank-1 funds to co-conspirators and related companies, who then sent portions of the ill-gotten funds to AZIM’s personal bank account,” the press release said.

The fraud included making false entries in the bank’s systems, misappropriating funds paid to the bank by its clients to satisfy outstanding loan obligations and then extending the maturity dates of those loan obligations, making it appear as though the loan obligations had not yet been paid.

When even the fraudulently extended maturity dates came due, Azim originated new, fraudulent loans to help conceal the scheme, according to the FBI which investigated the case, and whose work was praised by Strauss.

Over the course of the approximately 12 years, Azim caused approximately 200 improper wire transfers of the bank’s funds, each for an amount under $10,000, to be sent to third party accounts, including those of co-conspirators and related companies, which then returned portions of those funds to Azim, the press release said.

According to the plea agreement, a copy of which was provided by the U.S. Attorney’s Office along with the press release, Azim’s plea means she will not be prosecuted criminally by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and will be forfeiting a “sum of money equal to $1.523,431.30 in United States currency, representing proceeds traceable to the commission of the said offense.”

The plea agreement also says that Azim “further agrees to make restitution on the amount of $1,685.723.18 to the victim financial institution …”

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