Audrey Strauss, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), announced today the unsealing of a criminal complaint charging GANGADAI RAMPERSAUD AZIM, a/k/a “Julie Azim,” with wire fraud, bank fraud, bank theft, money laundering, and conspiracy, for her role in a scheme to defraud her employer, a Manhattan-based bank, of approximately $1.7 million. AZIM was arrested today and presented before United States Magistrate Judge Stewart D. Aaron this afternoon.
U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said: “As alleged, Gangadai Azim betrayed her position as a trusted bank employee to defraud the bank and misappropriate client funds for more than a dozen years. She allegedly stole more than $1.7 million and concealed the scheme until an absence from work led to its discovery. Now Azim faces the prospect of a much longer absence from work.”
FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr. said: “Azim’s alleged $1.7 million fraud scheme not only victimized her employer, but also risked the financial standing of the customers whose accounts she manipulated. In the long run, defrauding a financial institution with the hope of making an easy profit only resulted in federal charges and the potential for time behind bars.”
According to the allegations in the Complaint unsealed today in Manhattan federal court:
Between August 2008 and January 2021, AZIM, a long-time employee of a New York, New York-based bank (“Bank-1”) stole approximately $1.7 million from her employer. Over the course of approximately 12 years, AZIM executed hundreds of wire transfers of Bank-1 funds to co-conspirators and related companies, who then sent portions of the ill-gotten funds to AZIM’s personal bank account.
In furtherance of her scheme to defraud Bank-1, AZIM repeatedly made false entries in Bank-1’s systems, misappropriating funds paid to Bank-1 by its clients to satisfy outstanding loan obligations and then extending the maturity dates of those loan obligations, making it appear as though the loan obligations had not yet been paid. When even the fraudulently extended maturity dates came due, AZIM originated new, fraudulent loans. AZIM utilized the proceeds of those fraudulent loans to satisfy the loans for which she had previously stolen the client payments. In doing so, AZIM abused her position at Bank-1 and enriched herself at the expense of her employer.
AZIM’s fraud was discovered by Bank-1 when AZIM took a leave from her position at Bank-1 as a result of illness earlier this year. In January 2021, Bank-1 debited the account of a client of Bank-1 (“Client-1”) in order to pay off an outstanding loan obligation Client-1 had coming due. Client-1 then alerted Bank-1 that the debit was improper, as Client-1 had, in fact, paid off that obligation in 2019. Upon further…