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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 20, 2020

Former Client Relationship Manager at Bank of America Arrested on Wire Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

BOSTON – A former client relationship manager at Bank of America was arrested and charged today in connection with embezzling $1.5 million from a client company and using a portion of those funds to purchase luxury items.

Waqas Ali, 31, of Abington, was charged in a criminal complaint with wire fraud and money laundering. Ali will make an initial appearance today via videoconference in federal court in Boston.

According to court documents, Ali was the client relationship manager for the victim company, which was a Bank of America client. Ali allegedly opened a checking account in the name of the victim company without its knowledge or authorization, and between September 2016 and July 2017, fraudulently transferred over $1.5 million from the victim company’s accounts to a fraudulent account. 

It is alleged that Ali used over $600,000 of the funds he fraudulently obtained to fund his lifestyle and pay for luxury items, including a Porsche SUV and retail items at Neiman Marcus, Bloomingdales, Christian Louboutin and Tag Heuer. 

The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of money laundering provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $500,000 fine, restitution and forfeiture. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mackenzie A. Queenin of Lelling’s Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated August 20, 2020