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Report Dated March 28, 2017 8:05 PM
Two Indian-Americans in the US have been sentenced to over a year imprisonment for a massive international credit card fraud involving more than $200 million.
Vijay Verma, 49, and Tarsem Lal, 78, both of whom are owners of a jewellery store in New Jersey, have been sentenced to 14 months in prison and 12 months of home confinement, respectively.
Verma and Lal were indicted in October 2013 as part of a scheme to fabricate more than 7,000 false identities to obtain tens of thousands of credit cards.
According to court documents, participants in the scheme doctored credit reports to pump up the spending and borrowing power associated with the cards.
They then borrowed or spent as much as they could, based on the phony credit history, but did not repay the debts – causing more than $200 million in confirmed losses to businesses and financial institutions, federal prosecutors alleged.
These debts were incurred at Verma’s jewellery store, among many other locations, where Verma would allow fraudulently obtained credit cards to be swiped in phony transactions, court papers said.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Verma and Lal each admitted allowing others who came to their Jersey City, New Jersey, store to swipe cards they knew did not legitimately belong to them. They would then split the proceeds of the phony transactions with these other conspirators.
Each of them have been fined $5,000 and ordered to pay forfeiture of $451,259.
Report Dated March 23, 2017 7:24 PM
Amrit Kaur, a citizen of New Zealand, was arrested on Tuesday at Raxaul in Bihar in connection with a dowry case involving her sister-in-law. A lookout notice was issued against her by Ludhiana police in 2014.
DSP (immigration office) Anil Kumar Singh said during online verification of her passport, it was found that she was absconding in a dowry and torture case lodged by her sister-in-law in 2014.
The case was lodged against Kaur when she had come to her native village of Dugri in 2014. According to immigration officials, Kaur was in Nepal to pay a visit to a new gurdwara.
Kaur had been working in New Zealand since 2007, he said.
Report Dated March 22, 2017 6:51 PM
A 32-year-old Indian-origin man was on Monday sentenced to 10 years of jail and 12 strokes of the cane for murdering a woman 16 years ago during an attempt to rob her at knife-point in a lift.
Gunasegaran Ramasamy was sentenced to the maximum 10 years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane for robbery with hurt by a district court. The sentence was backdated to November 18, 2013.
The 2001 case had remained unsolved for more than a decade.
Gunasegaran confessed in 2013 to the killing of a woman Soh San, whose body was found riddled with stab wounds. He pleaded guilty to one count of causing hurt while committing robbery and one count of consuming methamphetamine.
A district court heard that on October 2, 2001, Gunasegaran’s sister gave him money to buy some instant noodles at a shop near her block at Bukit Batok Street 21 but decided he would rob someone. He armed himself with a 26cm-long kitchen knife and walked around the neighbourhood in search of a victim.
He spotted Soh, 28, between 8pm and 9pm near his block. He followed her into the lift, pulled out the knife and demanded money. She refused to give it. Gunasegaran stabbed her repeatedly until she collapsed.
Gunasegaran fled the scene after the incident. He spent the next decade in and out of prison for involving in many cases, including housebreaking, robbery and assault.
On November 17, 2013, having been plagued by guilt for 12 years, he walked into a police station and confessed to the murder.
Lawyer Ng Shi Yang, who defended Gunasegaran under the legal aid scheme, said the man has been “plagued by his conscience” and the crime was a “robbery gone awry”.
Report Dated March 20, 2017 7:27 PM
A 17-year-old Indian-American high-schooler has been arrested for matricide – accused of killing his mother – in a rare case that is seen as an aberration in an ethnic community that boasts of close family bonding and high academic achievement.
Police in Cary, North Carolina, arrested Arnav Uppalapati, 17, more than a year after his mother Nalini Tellaprolu, 51, was strangled to death at their upscale home in Wake County district where the deceased worked at the Duke Medical Center.
Authorities would not discuss a motive, nor would they say what evidence led investigators to the teenager, but throughout the year-old investigation they had maintained he was a person of interest in the case.
Arnav Uppalapati was only 16 when he called 911 on the afternoon of December 17, 2015, and told an emergency dispatcher that he had arrived home from school and found his mother lying dead on the garage floor of their home. His father, who was away on a business trip, had been trying to reach her over the phone all day without success and had asked him go home from school and check on her.
When police arrived at their home, they found Arnav’s mother had been strangled with a plastic bag over her head. Her feet were in the back seat of a car.
The teenager told the police he had last seen his mother alive the night before at about 10:30 pm when the two of them ate dinner together. He then went upstairs to do his homework and later went to bed.
He said he woke up the next morning at about 6:50 am, ate breakfast and left for school at 7 am without seeing her, before he returned home at 3.20 pm to check on her on instruction from his father, Babu Uppalapati.
The medical examiner’s office, which found Nalini’s body covered with bruises and scratches, and a fractured cartilage in the neck, ruled the death a homicide. Over the past year, police scoured over the home, it’s home alarm system, and the 2013 Honda Civic she drove. There found no sign of forcible entry, and the home alarm system which Nalini switched on meticulously every night was not activated on the night of her death.
Report Dated March 20, 2017 6:18 PM
An NRI who escaped Dubai on fake documents to escape legal action over a bounced cheque discovered that it was not the best way to get out of a situation. Caught at the Ahmedabad Airport for travelling on a fake passport, Jose Anthony’s bail plea was rejected by a local court after the public prosecutor argued that he might once again try to flee, just like in the past. According to the case details, five years ago, Anthony who is a resident of Kannur, Kerala, had gone to Dubai for employment. During his stay there, he had borrowed some money from a Dubai resident.
He repaid the loan through cheque but it bounced, following which a case was registered against him in Dubai. A court in Dubai had seized his passport and directed him not to leave the country. “But Anthony managed to get a fake Indian Passport in Dubai and returned to India. But he was caught at the Ahmedabad airport after officials realized his passport was fake. He was arrested and sent to judicial custody,” the Sardarnagar police, which has filed a charge sheet in the case, said. Anthony’s lawyer argued that since a charge sheet had been filed against his client, he should be eligible for bail.
He also said that his client was an Indian citizen and won’t flee from the country. However, chief public prosecutor Sudhir Brahambhatt argued before the court that the accused had, in the past too, fled using fake documents and since he is not from Gujarat, there are chances he might go underground if given bail. After hearing the arguments, Additional Sessions Judge DP Mahida rejected the bail application. The court also observed that just because a charge sheet has been filed in the case and there is no change in the situation of the case doesn’t entitle the accused for bail.”