A 27-year-old Indian-origin man has been sentenced to nearly four years in prison for orchestrating a USD 2 million scheme that cheated victims by making false promises to them in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Guaravjit ‘Raj’ Singh of Montgomery, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty before US District Court Judge Peter Sheridan to an information charging him with one count of wire fraud.
The judge imposed the 46-month sentence on Wednesday in Trenton federal court, US Attorney Philip Sellinger said on Thursday.
According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court, from May 2020, in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, Mr Singh engaged in a scheme to cheat and personally benefit by fraudulently inducing 10 victims to send him over USD 2 million to obtain personal protective equipment (PPE) and then stealing the money and not providing the PPE to the victims as promised.
Mr Singh induced victims to enter into an agreement pursuant to which he would be paid approximately USD 7.1 million for approximately 1.5 million medical gowns, which ultimately were to be sourced to the city of New York amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
The victims wired Mr Singh USD 712,500, representing a 10 per cent initial deposit for the medical gowns.
After receiving these funds from the victims, Mr Singh made additional misrepresentations and excuses to the victims, ensuring them that they would receive the medical gowns.
Instead of purchasing and delivering medical gowns, Mr Singh used the funds for personal expenses.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Sheridan sentenced Mr Singh to three years of supervised release.