Houston woman convicted in sheriff's office scam

A Houston woman, Aarti Gupte, 31, was convicted Tuesday of three counts of wire fraud and conspiracy for her role in a kickback scheme involving bogus checks issued by the Philadelphia sheriff’s office from 2007 through 2010.

After three days of testimony, a federal jury took less than an hour to decide that Gupte was guilty of depositing four checks from the sheriff’s office, worth $242,186, then withdrawing about half the money in cash to return to her co-conspirators, chiefly Richard C. Bell 2d, an accounting clerk in the sheriff’s office who devised the scam.

Gupte was the eighth person convicted in the scam, part of an ongoing probe of the sheriff’s office by the FBI and the U. S. attorney’s office. The other seven, including Bell, pleaded guilty.  

U. S. District Judge Legrome Davis scheduled Gupte's sentencing for September 16.

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