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Home » News » Courts » Albany man pleads guilty to stealing nearly $1M in federal farm aid

Albany man pleads guilty to stealing nearly $1M in federal farm aid

Asjid Parvez, 37, from Albany, admitted to misappropriating nearly $1 million in federal funds intended to assist struggling farmers. This announcement was made by United States Attorney Carla B. Freedman and FBI Special Agent in Charge, Craig L. Tremaroli.

The funds, provided under the Inflation Reduction Act by the United States Department of Agriculture’s Farm Service Agency (FSA), were to help distressed borrowers with their federally guaranteed farm loans. Parvez, who had defaulted on a loan for a Maryland chicken farm in 2014, received a check from the FSA for $972,564.61 in May 2023. Instead of using these funds to settle his farm loan, Parvez diverted the money for personal expenses and real estate investments. He executed this by depositing the check, made jointly payable to him and his lender, into a bank account he opened under the lender’s name and then transferring the funds to accounts under his control.

Parvez pleaded guilty to one count of theft of government property. He faces a potential sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is set for May 2, 2024, by United States District Judge Anne M. Nardacci. Parvez has agreed to pay restitution of $972,564.61 to the FSA.

The FBI has seized over $500,000 traceable to the stolen funds. Additionally, a civil action has been filed for the forfeiture of an Albany residential property bought with approximately $202,675 of the misappropriated money. This case was investigated by the FBI, with support from the United States Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett. Assistant U.S. Attorney Elizabeth Conger is handling the asset forfeiture action.