Fraud Investigation Update from The Berkshires DA Office
** New information as of 6/18.............More details have surfaced about the recent scam case spanning five states leading to two local arrests. The Berkshire Eagle reports that according to prosecutors, the raid of an apartment above a nondescript smoke shop in Adams on Monday uncovered the inner workings of a massive phone scam.
Authorities found tens of thousands of dollars in cash, computers and a notebook containing a script used for defrauding people over the phone. The scam netted roughly $300,000.
Police arrested Ajaykumar Chaudhari, 24, of Pownal, Vt. and Jitendra Chaudhari, 27, of Williamstown as the result of a three-month investigation into a national organized fraud scheme.
They are facing charges of larceny by false pretenses over $1,200, larceny from a person over the age of 65 and conspiracy. Each of the charge carries state prison sentences of up to five years.
We anticipate the two will be arraigned in Northern Berkshire District Court on Wednesday Law enforcement believes the Chaudharis were involved in multi-state scheme intended to defraud individuals through phone scams.
In March, police in other jurisdictions alerted Adams Police that individuals in their communities reported sending thousands of dollars in cash to addresses in Adams under potentially fraudulent terms.
The Berkshire State Police Detective Unit and the Berkshire Law Enforcement Task Force assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office, Adams Police and partner police organizations in Lanesborough, North Adams, Pittsfield, Williamstown, Hoosick Falls, N.Y. and the Berkshire Sheriff’s Office launched a multi-agency, a multi-state investigation that spanned three months.
In total, law enforcement agencies executed 27 search warrants throughout the investigation including two businesses, one residence, and multiple motor vehicles.
Local law enforcement executed search warrants on businesses and a residence on Monday and seized approximately $50,000.
Investigators accounted for approximately $300,000 allegedly sent because of potential fraud. Law enforcement seized and returned much of the money to victims or held as evidence pending the ongoing prosecution.
Law enforcement is still actively investigating the method and manner used to illegally solicit and defraud the individuals.