CONCORD, N.H. — A Windham man was found guilty of crimes related to stealing from his former employer including wire fraud, money laundering and transportation of stolen funds.
Imran Alrai, 45, used his position as vice president with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley to steal $6.7 million over about five years, according to a statement from United States Attorney Scott W. Murray.
He was convicted of 18 counts of wire fraud, 14 counts of money laundering and 12 counts of transporting stolen funds. The court acquitted Alrai on six counts of money laundering, one count of aggravated identity theft and two counts of failing to file foreign bank account reports with the Internal Revenue Service. The court also ordered forfeiture in an amount to be determined. The court previously ordered that Alrai repatriate funds he wired to Pakistan.
“As vice president for IT services with the United Way, Alrai abused his position of trust with this great charitable organization to steal millions,” said Jason J. Molina, special agent in charge, Homeland Security Investigations Boston. “His wire fraud and money laundering crimes are even more offensive when you consider that the millions of dollars he stole was money which was meant to be used to provide education, medical care and occupational training opportunities to countless children and adults.”
In early 2013, Alrai rigged the bidding process for a major contract to provide managed IT services at the United Way so that Digitalnet was chosen as an IT contractor for the Boston-based nonprofit, according to the statement.
As the owner of Digitalnet, Alrai gave fake references and false information about Digitalnet to United Way, and misrepresented any personal connection to the company, according to Murray.
According to expert testimony, United Way lost about $3.1 million as a result of Digitalnet’s excessive billing, duplicate billing and billing for services not delivered. The same expert calculated that Alrai personally enriched himself in the amount of $3.7 million.
Between 2013 and 2018, Alrai steered additional IT work to Digitalnet, and it was the second-largest outside vendor for United Way, receiving more than $1 million annually, according to Murray. He routinely sent emails with attached invoices from a fictitious person to himself at United Way, according to evidence presented at the trial.
June 2018 officials at United Way confronted Alrai and terminated him because of the fraud, according to the statement. Federal agents executed search and seizure warrants and seized incriminating documents and data from Alrai’s home office in Windham, as well as approximately $2.2 million in fraud proceeds in bank and investment accounts, according to Murray. During the scheme, Alrai wired $1.2 million in fraud proceeds to a Digitalnet bank account in Lahore, Pakistan, according to the statement.
Between 2013 and 2014, Alrai conducted similar behavior working for Robert Allen Group in Foxboro, Massachusetts, where Alrai was CIO, and induced that company to pay Digitalnet more than $400,000, according to Murray. The total amount involved in the scheme was approximately $7 million, according to the statement.
“Those who engage in fraud should understand that their schemes will be detected and that they will be prosecuted for their illegal actions,” Murray said. “The defendant took advantage of trust that was placed in him in order to steal millions of dollars from a charitable organization. The defendant enriched himself at the expense of the United Way and its supporters, diverting money intended for the benefit of the less fortunate. Such deceitful conduct cannot be tolerated. This conviction is one step in our effort to secure justice for the victims of this scheme.”
Alrai will be detained pending sentencing, which is scheduled for March 21.
This matter was investigated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys John Davis, Cam Le and Matthew Hunter.