- Ashish Bajaj, 28, and his co-conspirators allegedly targeted elders in California and New Jersey by impersonating fraud prevention representatives from banks located in the U.S.
Ashish Bajaj, a 28-year-old Indian citizen, has been arrested and charged in a New Jersey court in connection with a $2.3 million elder fraud scheme, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig announced.
According to a Department of Justice press release, from April 2020 through July 2021, “Bajaj and his co-conspirators received at least $2.3 million in fraudulently obtained funds by impersonating fraud prevention representatives from banks located in the United States.”
They targeted elderly victims and told them that they worked at a “hub” for multiple financial institutions’ fraud departments and “they were reaching out because the victims’ bank accounts had been hacked,” the DoJ said.
They then asked the victims to assist with their fraud prevention efforts by setting up “sting” operations to catch the fraudsters who had allegedly hacked the victims’ bank accounts. “The requested assistance included initiating various wire transactions to various bank accounts, including bank accounts in India, ultimately resulting in a loss to the victims,” the DoJ said.
Over the course of the investigation, law enforcement has identified multiple victims of this scheme, including in New Jersey and California.
The count of wire fraud conspiracy is punishable by a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense.