Albany Man Pleads Guilty to Embezzling Nearly $1 Million in Federal Funds in Northern District of New York

ALBANY Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing $1 Million in Federal Funds

ALBANY Man Pleads Guilty to Stealing $1 Million in Federal Funds

Program for Struggling Farmers

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Asjid Parvez, age 37, of Albany, has admitted to stealing nearly $1 million in federal funds from a program designed to assist struggling farmers in paying off their loans. This announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and Craig L. Tremaroli, Special Agent in Charge of the Albany Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

Financial Assistance for Distressed Borrowers

In 2022, the Inflation Reduction Act authorized the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA) to provide financial assistance to distressed borrowers who had fallen behind on their federally guaranteed farm loans. As one of these borrowers, Parvez had defaulted on a loan he used to purchase a Maryland chicken farm in 2014.

Guilty Plea and Misuse of Funds

Parvez admitted that in May 2023, the FSA issued him a United States Treasury check worth $972,564.61. Instead of using these funds to repay his defaulted farm loan, Parvez stole the money. He diverted the funds to cover personal expenses and invest in real estate. Parvez accomplished the theft by opening a bank account in the name of his lender, Horizon Farm Credit. He then deposited the joint Treasury check into this account and swiftly transferred the funds to his own controlled accounts.

Legal Consequences

Parvez pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property. When sentenced on May 2, 2024, by United States District Judge Anne M. Nardacci, he could face up to 10 years in prison, up to 3 years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Parvez has also agreed to pay restitution of $972,564.61 to the FSA.

Seized Funds and Asset Forfeiture

The FBI has already seized $516,974.54, which can be traced back to the federal funds stolen by Parvez. Furthermore, the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Asset Recovery Unit has initiated a civil action seeking the forfeiture of a residential property in Albany. This property was purchased using approximately $202,675 of the stolen funds.

Investigation and Legal Representation

The FBI conducted the investigation into this case, with assistance from the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett is prosecuting the case, while Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Conger is representing the United States in the asset forfeiture action.

Read More of this Story at – 2024-01-05 20:40:01

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