Skip to main content
Press Release

Former Takeda Employee Pleads Guilty to Wire Fraud in $2.3 Million Embezzlement Scheme

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts

BOSTON – A former senior level employee in the technology operations group of Takeda Pharmaceutical Company Limited (Takeda) pleaded guilty yesterday to engaging in a scheme to defraud the company of at least $2.3 million.

Priya Bhambi, 40, of Brookline, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and three counts of wire fraud. Bhambi and an alleged co-conspirator, who did not work at the company, were charged in an indictment filed on March 23, 2023.

Between approximately January 2022 and October 2022, Bhambi and her alleged co-conspirator orchestrated and executed a scheme to defraud Takeda of at least $2.3 million in payments for purported consulting services by submitting fabricated invoices on behalf of a sham consulting company. 

In February 2022, the co-conspirator, in coordination with Bhambi, allegedly incorporated Evoluzione Consulting LLC (Evoluzione). Later, Bhambi created a website for Evoluzione with false information, including fabricated blog posts, to make it appear that Evoluzione was a legitimate consulting business. After incorporating Evoluzione, Bhambi, allegedly in coordination with the co-conspirator, submitted a statement of work to Takeda and caused Takeda to sign a master services agreement with Evoluzione and issue a purchase order to Evoluzione for consulting services with a total cost of $3.542 million. Then, between March and May of 2022, Bhambi and the alleged co-conspirator fabricated and submitted to Takeda five separate invoices for services that Evoluzione had not performed, each in the amount of $460,000. When questioned by Takeda employees, Bhambi and the alleged co-conspirator made false representations regarding the services purportedly provided by Evoluzione. Takeda paid all five of the invoices to business accounts allegedly opened by the alleged co-conspirator in the name of Evoluzione. 

In total, Bhambi and the alleged co-conspirator defrauded Takeda of $2.3 million in payments to Evoluzione for services not provided. Bhambi and her alleged co-conspirator used the fraudulently obtained funds to purchase a Mercedes-Benz Model E; purchase a diamond engagement ring; make a down payment on a $1.875 million condominium in Boston’s Seaport neighborhood; and place a deposit on a wedding venue. 

In connection with the charges, the Court issued seizure warrants for the Mercedes, over $1 million in fraud proceeds from accounts the defendants controlled, $49,985 from the wedding venue deposit and issued a restraining order to preserve the Seaport condominium for forfeiture.

The charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud carry a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.

Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division, made the announcement today. Takeda has provided valuable assistance and cooperation with the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Leslie A. Wright of the Criminal Division is prosecuting the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Carol E. Head, Chief of the Asset Recovery Unit is handling the forfeiture of aspects of the case. 

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

Updated June 6, 2024

Financial Fraud