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Indian American Attorney Indicted for Allegedly Defrauding Clients of More Than $5 Million in Escrow Funds

Indian American Attorney Indicted for Allegedly Defrauding Clients of More Than $5 Million in Escrow Funds

  • Attorney and Former U.S. Congressional Candidate Abhijit “Beej” Das, 50, of Andover, Massachusetts, was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, in connection with a scheme to defraud an India-based business-to-business supply company.

Abhijit “Beej” Das, a former candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 3rd Congressional District of Massachusetts, was arrested in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on June 26 on federal charges for allegedly defrauding clients of more than $5 million in escrow funds. 

The 50-year-old was indicted by a federal grand jury in Boston on June 20 on 10 counts of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud an India-based business-to-business supply company of millions of dollars, the Department of Justice said. Additionally, the DoJ said he allegedly used client funds for business and personal expenses, including purchasing a $2.7 million home in Boca Raton, Florida.

According to the indictment, Das was an attorney and principal manager of a boutique law and advisory firm called Troca Global Advisors with offices in Boston and New York. Beginning in or about May 2020, he began providing legal representation and escrow services to two twin brothers and their logistical supply company in India that was coordinating large shipments of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the pandemic. 

Das “diverted more than $5 million in escrow funds from his clients’ accounts to other accounts and used the funds for personal expenses – including expenses for his law firm, a yacht owned by one of his hotels, as well as $2.7 million for his Boca Raton home,” the DoJ said, citing the indictment.

The indictment further alleges that Das committed nine of the 10 counts of wire fraud while on court-mandated pre-trial release conditions resulting from his June 2021 indictment. That earlier indictment charged Das with campaign finance violations, embezzlement of campaign funds and making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission. 

This is not Das’ first brush with the law. Two years ago, he was arrested for allegedly violating the Federal Election Campaign Act and false statements, for which he was on federal pretrial release. The Lowell Sun reported that in 2018, Das “temporarily relocated” to Lowell to run in the crowded Democratic primary for the 3rd Congressional District, now represented by U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan. 

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According to the 2021 indictment, in order to overcome a fundraising deficit during his 2017-18 campaign, “Das allegedly devised a scheme to solicit personal loans from friends and close associates in excess of the legal limit,” the DoJ said at the time. He allegedly caused three individuals to contribute about $125,000 to his campaign. He structured the contributions as personal loans to a family member to circumvent FEC reporting requirements and contribution limits. He allegedly concealed the excessive campaign contributions from the FEC, falsely claimed that they were his own personal funds, and engaged in illegal conduit contributions to his campaign. He also allegedly used at least $267,000 from his campaign account to pay outstanding business debts, and submitted falsified quarterly reports to the FEC that overstated his campaign’s cash on hand.

According to The Lowell Sun, Das bought the former Stonehedge Hotel and Spa in Tyngsboro in 2014, “which was operated under his Troca Hotels hospitality company.” But by 2019, “the property’s parent company, Boston East Tyngsboro Holdings LLC, had twice become delinquent on its taxes to the town and was ultimately foreclosed for nonpayment,” the Sun said. “The foreclosure auction was stalled until May 2020 after Das’ company filed for bankruptcy and undertook a lawsuit alleging his bank violated its mortgage agreement.” While the bankruptcy proceedings were ongoing for the Stonehedge Inn, Das created Troca Global Advisors, “the firm that he allegedly used in the fraud scheme for which he was arrested.”

Das could face up to 20 years in prison, DoJ said, along with “three years of supervised release and fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.”

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