By Laura Hayes, Senior Community Reporter
NORTHBOROUGH – A Northborough man is facing federal wire fraud and money laundering charges after he allegedly embezzled $370,000 from a Sturbridge nonprofit.
Kyriakos Kapiris was employed as an IT manager at the nonprofit from April 2015 to May 2020, according to court filings. Prosecutors announced on Oct. 22 that Kapiris had been indicted on two counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.
The indictment said that, beginning around December 2016, Kapiris “engaged in a scheme to defraud [the nonprofit] by creating false purchase orders and invoices reflecting supposed purchases of IT equipment, and by making credit card payments to online accounts that he created or controlled.”
As IT Manager, Kapiris had permission to make business purchases using an administrative or department credit card, the indictment said.
According to the indictment, Kapiris used the credit cards to make purchases from two Square accounts and an Amazon account of products that weren’t ordered or received by the nonprofit.
The indictment said Kapiris created that Amazon vendor account under the name “NetworkingPlus.”
He allegedly also created two vendor accounts on Square under the names of actual Waltham- and Worcester-based companies. The indictment said those businesses don’t use Square and haven’t sold products to the nonprofit.
Kapiris allegedly transferred funds from the Amazon and Square accounts into bank accounts that he controlled, and “engaged in monetary transactions of over $10,000 for his own benefit.” Those included a payment of $19,250 to a contracting company that he was using to build a new residence in Northborough, the indictment said.
A press release from the US Attorney’s Office District of Massachusetts said the wire fraud charges carry a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
The money laundering charge can lead to a prison sentence up to 10 years, up to three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Kapiris appeared before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge David H. Hennessy on Oct. 22. He was released following his appearance on several conditions, including an order to avoid contact with the nonprofit and its current and former employees.
Sturbridge police said in a Facebook post on Oct. 25 that a call initially came to their department regarding this case. The matter was assigned to Sergeant Hillary Murray, who reached out to the Worcester FBI Office. US Attorney’s Office said Northborough police then also assisted.
“A lengthy investigation followed; ultimately leading to the arrest of Kyriakos Kapiris on several felony financial crimes,” Sturbridge police wrote. “Great job to Sgt. Murray and the Special Agents from the FBI.”