U.S. puts lien on Vineyard Haven house

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This house at 100 Center Street in Vineyard Haven has a lien on it by the U.S. Attorney's office. - Lexi Pline

The U.S. Attorney’s Office has put a lien on a house at 100 Center St. in Vineyard Haven, which could become government property if Shivani Patel fails to pay more than $3 million in restitution before her sentencing later this month.

The lien was officially recorded at the Dukes County Registry of Deeds Friday to protect against the house being sold. The lien was approved by a judge earlier in the week.

Patel, 38, purchased the Vineyard Haven home for $640,000 in 2015 with money she embezzled from a Waltham-based company. She pleaded guilty to bank fraud, money laundering, and filing false tax returns in federal court in October. She is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 28, according to Liz McCarthy, a spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s office.

Under the terms of her plea agreement, prosecutors will recommend she spend nearly five years in prison (she could have faced up to 30 years), three years of supervised release, and pay a fine.

Patel is guilty of an elaborate scheme to create a sham company while she worked as an executive assistant at a Waltham-based technology company. Between 2012 and 2017, she took customer checks meant for that company and deposited them in a bank account created for a company she created with a similar name by adding an “s” to the company name.

Along with the Vineyard house, Patel could forfeit a second property in Hudson, a Ducati Diavel motorcycle, a 2013 camper, a 2014 Audi S4, a 2015 Jeep Wrangler, and a 2015 Audi Q7.

All of the items are property Patel admits she paid for with the stolen money.