United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania Announces Participation in National Money Mule Initiative; Obtains Three Civil Injunctions Against Alleged Money Mules Involved in Lottery Scams
PHILADELPHIA - Kenneth Kapikian, 58, of Wayne, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for defrauding the University of Pennsylvania out of $3,039,383. Kapikian pleaded guilty, June 10, 2015, to six counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. His co-defendant, Dennis Gagliardi, of Chester Springs, PA, pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Kapikian and Gagliardi engaged in a scheme to fraudulently obtain monies from the University of Pennsylvania by falsely billing the University for services that the defendants never provided to the Sheraton University City Hotel. They also directed vendors of the Sheraton University City Hotel to inflate their invoices submitted to the hotel and then pay them the fraudulently inflated amounts as kickbacks.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia Rufe ordered Kapikian to pay restitution in the amount of $3,039,383, a $700 special assessment, and ordered three years of supervised release. Sentencing for Gagliardi is scheduled for January 8, 2016.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Melanie Babb Wilmoth.