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Justice News

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

Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Rhode Island Man Charged in Million Dollar Embezzlement Scheme

BOSTON – A Rhode Island man was arrested today and charged in connection with a scheme to embezzle over a million dollars from a Massachusetts company.  

Michael H. Tran, 34, of Woonsocket, R.I., was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of wire fraud. Tran was arrested this morning and will appear in federal court in Boston this afternoon.

According to the indictment, Tran and a product manager for a Bellingham, Mass. company that specializes in manufacturing precision machine parts, worked together to embezzle millions of dollars from the company. From December 2013 to May 2016, it is alleged that the product manager told the company owners that he was purchasing equipment for the company using his PayPal account, which was linked to the company’s credit cards. Instead of making legitimate equipment purchases, however, the product manager used his PayPal account to pay Tran, who withdrew the money in cash and used it to pay for personal expenses. Tran and the product manager concealed the fraud by submitting fraudulent invoices and purchase orders to the company in the name of non-existent vendors, such as “A Plug Tool Supply,” and “MHT Industrial.”

The charging statute for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Neil J. Gallagher, Jr. of Lelling’s Economic Crimes Unit is prosecuting the case.

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

Financial Fraud
Updated September 19, 2018