Ex-Take­da staffer­'s 's­mall hus­tle' ends with ar­rest and $2.3M fraud scheme charge

A for­mer se­nior staffer at Take­da was ar­rest­ed this week over an al­leged scheme to de­fraud the com­pa­ny of about $2.3 mil­lion.

Priya Bham­bi, a for­mer em­ploy­ee in Take­da’s tech­nol­o­gy op­er­a­tions group, has been charged with wire fraud along with Samuel Mon­tronde. The de­fen­dants, who live to­geth­er in Boston, were ac­cused of schem­ing via text mes­sage and us­ing the stolen funds to buy a Mer­cedes-Benz, ac­cord­ing to an af­fi­davit by FBI Spe­cial Agent Bren­dan Don­lan.

“… I have put some wheels in mo­tion to pur­suit [sic] a small hus­tle, lol… You know how we talked about oth­er types of work a few days ago? I ba­si­cal­ly found a seed and some seed $ for it. I can’t be the face of it though,” Bham­bi texted Mon­tronde last Jan­u­ary, ac­cord­ing to court doc­u­ments.

The al­leged ruse be­gan when an un­named per­son af­fil­i­at­ed with Bham­bi start­ed a com­pa­ny in 2018 to pro­vide in­for­ma­tion tech­nol­o­gy ser­vices to Take­da, ac­cord­ing to the af­fi­davit. While “it does not ap­pear that Com­pa­ny 1 ever en­gaged in any ac­tu­al busi­ness,” Take­da made about $300,000 worth of pay­ments be­tween Au­gust 2018 and De­cem­ber 2019, Don­lan re­port­ed.

About two years af­ter that com­pa­ny was dis­solved, Mon­tronde formed Evoluzione Con­sult­ing. Bham­bi al­leged­ly sub­mit­ted a let­ter to Take­da claim­ing that the first com­pa­ny had been ac­quired by Evoluzione. Take­da made three pay­ments of $460,000 each to Evoluzione be­tween Ju­ly and Oc­to­ber 2022.

“We be­come mil­lion­aires and we re­tire babe,” Mon­tronde texted Bham­bi, ac­cord­ing to the court doc­u­ments. “If I get it right…dream home 2022 for us,” Bham­bi said in a dif­fer­ent text.

Both the plain­tiffs’ and Bham­bi’s at­tor­ney Az­iza Hawthorne de­clined to com­ment to End­points News.

While the af­fi­davit does not re­fer to Take­da by name, Bham­bi’s LinkedIn page list­ed her as work­ing at Take­da be­tween 2017 and 2022, ac­cord­ing to mul­ti­ple re­ports. The LinkedIn ac­count has since been re­moved.

When asked about the case, Take­da told End­points via email: “We are aware of the events and are work­ing in full co­op­er­a­tion with the au­thor­i­ties. We can­not com­ment fur­ther since the in­ves­ti­ga­tion is on­go­ing.”

Bham­bi was fired in No­vem­ber 2022 fol­low­ing an in­ter­nal in­ves­ti­ga­tion, ac­cord­ing to the court doc­u­ments.

Illustration: Assistant Editor Kathy Wong for Endpoints News

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President Joe Biden at the State of the Union address with Vice President Kamala Harris and House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (Patrick Semansky/AP Images)

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Richard Francis, newly-appointed Teva CEO (Novartis via Facebook)

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Bill Anderson, incoming Bayer CEO (David Paul Morris/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

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