Prithviraj R. Bhikha was arrested for defrauding the company of $9.3 million.
In yet another case involving an Indian American at an influential position allegedly committing fraud, a former director of CISCO was arrested last week. Prithviraj R Bhikha is accused of defrauding the world’s leading computer networking products supplier of $9.3 million.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation arrested Bhikha on March 1 at the San Francisco International Airport. He was released on a $3 million bail bond.
According to FBI, Bhikha was involved in the fraud by creating shell companies outside the United States. He then used these companies for negotiating with third-party vendors on behalf of CISCO.
CISCO paid two of these companies $6.5 million and $2.8 million using a wire transfer. In return, these companies subsequently wired more than $8.5 million back to US accounts that belonged to Bhikha and his wife.
When some people at CISCO got a whiff of Bhikhas’ activities, he further tried to dupe the company by arranging for fake documents and then masquerading an unknown person as the CEO of the company.
Bhikha was employed with CISCO until 2017. He served as a director of the company’s global supply chain division. He was instrumental in establishing a new program under his leadership. The project, according to reports, worked toward identifying and then commissioning third-party vendors to negotiate deals on parts that were used in Cisco product manufacturing.
If convicted, Bhikha could face a fine of up to $250,000 and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.