Bhikha arrested

The facade of a building on Cisco Systems' sprawling complex is shown April 17, 2001 in San Jose, California. (representational image/Dan Krauss/Getty Images)

Prithviraj R. Bhikha, a former employee at Cisco Systems, March 1 was arrested for allegedly defrauding the company of more than $9 million.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Bhikha was arrested while at the San Francisco International Airport and charged with committing wire fraud to the tune of $9.3 million against the company that relieved him of his duties in 2017.

The former employee, of Indian descent, is accused of using his previous position as a director of the company’s global supply chain division to establish a new program under his leadership, the report said.

The project reportedly entailed identifying and commissioning third-party vendors to negotiate deals on parts used in Cisco product manufacturing, according to the publication.

According to the allegations, after establishing several overseas entities on his own, Bhikha was responsible for directing and approving Cisco contracts with those companies.

Cisco wired roughly $6.5 million to one of the entities, and around $2.8 million to another, the Chronicle said in its report.

Colleagues eventually became suspicious of Bhikha’s actions, and according to the Chronicle’s report, at one point, he allegedly enlisted one coworker to help him create fraudulent documentation for his project.

Bhikha was released on a $3 million bond, according to the Chronicle. If convicted, he faces a fine of up to $250,000 and a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison.

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