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SAN FRANCISCO – A federal grand jury indicted Kush Ghanshyam Patel for mail fraud in connection with an alleged scheme to defraud his former employer, announced United States Attorney David L. Anderson and United States Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Thomas C. Edwards.

According to the indictment, Patel, 28, of San Francisco, Calif., worked as an event coordinator from 2013 to 2016 at a streaming-video company headquartered in San Francisco.  During his time at the company, and continuing for two years afterward, Patel engaged in a scheme to steal from his former employer.  In 2014, the company’s Corporate Controller authorized Patel to make a single purchase with the company’s corporate credit card for a company marketing event.  Beginning around March 2015, however, Patel started making additional unauthorized purchases.  As alleged in the indictment, Patel used the corporate card to make a number of fraudulent purchases, including roundtrip international airline tickets to Milan, Italy, and high-end Air Jordan and Yeezy footwear.  Patel’s unauthorized purchases allegedly continued until about August 2018—years after he left the company in 2016.  According to information presented to the court at Patel’s initial appearance, the proceeds from Patel’s fraudulent scheme totaled more than $350,000. 

The indictment, filed on January 9, 2020, charges Patel with two counts of mail fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1341.

Patel was arrested in Munster, Ind. on January 30, 2020, and made his initial federal court appearance on February 14, 2018, in San Francisco.  Patel was released on $100,000 bond.  Patel’s next appearance is scheduled for March 31, 2020, before the Honorable William Alsup, United States District Judge.   

An indictment merely alleges that crimes have been committed, and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.  If convicted, Patel faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000, plus restitution, for each count of mail fraud.  However, any sentence following conviction would be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553. 

Assistant U.S. Attorney Abraham Fine is prosecuting the case with the assistance Margoth Turcios.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service.

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