Indian gets jail term, ordered to pay $2.4 mn for defrauding elderly in US

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New York, April 7

An Indian national has been sentenced to 33 months in prison, and ordered to pay $2.4 million in restitution for his role in an international conspiracy that preyed on elderly victims in the US.

Ashish Bajaj, 29, pleaded guilty in August last year before District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court to information charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, from April 2020 to August 2021, Bajaj and his conspirators preyed on elderly victims by impersonating fraud prevention specialists from various banks, online retailers, and online payment companies.

They contacted victims and falsely claimed that they were fraud prevention specialists employed by reputable companies and that the victims' accounts with banks, online retailers, or online payments companies were being targeted for fraud.

Bajaj and his conspirators then falsely told the victims that their fraud prevention efforts required the victims' assistance in a sting operation to catch the perpetrators.

Bajaj and the conspirators asked the elderly victims to send money from their bank accounts to accounts controlled by the former and falsely promised to return their money within a few days of the purported sting operation.

The victims were also falsely promised that once they sent the money, the sting operation would result in the arrest of the purported perpetrators.

The victims sent international wire transfers to various banks located in India, China, Singapore, and the United Arab Emirates.

The victims also sent money through an online application to bank accounts held by Bajaj in the US.

The victims further sent cash and cashier checks to Bajaj at an address in California. The scheme resulted in losses of more than $250,000.

--IANS

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