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A grab of Priya Bhambri's website on June 10, 2024

Former Takeda executive defrauds a company of millions, pleads guilty.

Priya Bhambi, a former top employee in the technology operations group at Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited, who is 40 years old, pleaded guilty recently to a scheme that stole at least $2.3 million from the company. Bhambi pleaded guilty to one charge of plotting to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud.

On March 23, 2023, Takeda filed an indictment against Bhambi and a person she allegedly worked with. As part of the scheme, they sent fictitious bills for consulting services from a fictitious company named Evoluzione Consulting LLC from January 2022 to October 2022.

Bhambi and her partner started Evoluzione in February 2022. They made a website with false information to make it look like a real consulting firm. Takeda then received a work statement and a master services agreement from Bhambi. This caused the company to issue a $3.542 million purchase order for consulting services that did not exist. Bhambi and her partner submitted five bills totaling $460,000 for uncompleted work between March and May 2022. When asked, Bhambi and her partner lied about the services they provided. Takeda paid all five bills.

A Mercedes-Benz Model E, a diamond engagement ring, a down payment on a $1.875 million condo in Boston's Seaport district, and a deposit on a wedding venue were among the pricey items purchased with the fake money.

The court seized the Mercedes and over $1 million from accounts of the defendants controlled, and $49,985 from the wedding venue deposit. The court also imposed a restraining order on the Seaport condominium to prevent its loss.

It is possible to get 20 years in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud. or 20 years in prison for wire fraud. The guilty could also get a fine of up to $250,000, or twice the amount of money made made or lost from the crime. A judge in a federal district court will determine the sentences based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other applicable laws.

Acting US Attorney Joshua S. Levy and FBI Special Agent in Charge Jodi Cohen made the charges public. Takeda has given the investigators all the information they need. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie A. Wright is in charge of the case's prosecution, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol E. Head is in charge of the forfeiture parts.

The FBI looked into Bhambi's phone and found texts between her and her partner in crime that were happy about their plan. Bhambi texted, "I've set some things in motion to go after a small hustle, lol." We talked about different kinds of work a few days ago. I have secured a seed and some initial funding for the project. However, I am unable to take on the lead role. "We become millionaires and retire, babe," her partner in crime said in response. Bhubaneswar said, "Well, I have a plan, lol...""I feel a bit like Geppetto, haha."

Interestingly, her website still describes her as the VP Head of Office of the Chief Digital & Technology Officer at Takeda, and the last blog post from the website was on June 3, 2024.

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