Brother and Sister Sentenced to Federal Prison for Attempting to Steal $3.7 Million with Phony Invoice Scheme
TRENTON, N.J. – A brother and sister from New Jersey were sentenced today to federal prison terms for their respective roles in running a multi-million dollar fraudulent invoice scheme, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito announced.
Shevandra Verasawmi, 38, of Matawan, New Jersey, was sentenced to 87 months in prison and Vishallie Verasawmi, 37, of Green Brook, New Jersey, was sentenced to 48 months in prison. Both were found guilty of all four counts of an indictment charging them with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and three counts of mail fraud. The defendants were convicted following a one-week trial before U.S. District Judge Freda L. Wolfson in Trenton federal court. The jury deliberated for one hour before returning its verdict.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
From April 2016 through August 2016, Shevandra and Vishallie Verasawmi defrauded an entity identified in the indictment as “Victim Company 1” into paying shell companies that were incorporated by Shevandra Verasawmi. Despite the fact that the shell companies never had contracts for goods or services with Victim Company 1, Vishallie Verasawmi used her position as an employee of Victim Company 1 to cause the shell companies to be added to Victim Company 1’s accounts payable system.
Shevandra and Vishallie Verasawmi then submitted dozens of fraudulent invoices to Victim Company 1 and ultimately deposited the fraud proceeds into bank accounts they controlled. In total, Shevandra and Vishallie Verasawmi attempted to divert millions of dollars belonging to Victim Company 1 and spent the proceeds on personal expenses, including a luxury car and credit card payments.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of Shevandra and Vishallie Verasawmi’s proceeds from the scheme, including $1,066,830 and a 2016 BMW 750Li xDrive sedan.
In addition to the prison terms, Judge Wolfson sentenced the both of the defendants to three years of supervised release and ordered them both to pay restitution of $1,066,830. Vishallie Verasawmi was also ordered to forfeit the BMW.
The investigation was led by special agents with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey.
The government is represented by Senior Litigation Counsel Daniel V. Shapiro of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit and Assistant U.S. Attorney Dara Aquila Govan of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Cybercrime Unit. Senior Litigation Counsel Barbara A. Ward and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathleen Robeson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Asset Recovery and Money Laundering Unit are handling the forfeiture aspects of the case.
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