Vineyard Haven woman guilty of embezzlement

Shivani Patel, who embezzled $3 million, purchased this property at 100 Center Street in Vineyard Haven for $640,000 in 2015. –Gabrielle Mannino

A Vineyard Haven woman pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $3 million from a Waltham-based technology company, according to a press release issued by U.S. Attorney Andrew Lelling’s office.

Shivani Patel, 38, who purchased her 100 Center St. home with the money she stole, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston.

U.S. District Court Judge Leo Sorokin scheduled Patel’s sentencing for Jan. 13. Under the plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend she be sentenced to 57 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and pay a fine of $20,000 to $200,000. She also will have to make restitution if the judge accepts the plea terms.

As The Times reported in June, Patel served as an executive assistant to the chief financial officer of the Waltham-based technology company. Between 2012 and 2017, she took customer checks from the mail and deposited them into a bank account for a sham company she created with a similar name by adding an “s” to the company name. She used the money to purchase a car and her Vineyard Haven house for $640,000 in 2015.

Patel could have served up to 30 years in prison on the bank fraud charge, and paid up to a $1 million fine, according to federal sentencing guidelines. The money-laundering charge carries a sentence of up to 20 years in prison and a $500,000 fine.