WETHERSFIELD MAN CHARGED WITH
OPERATING FRAUDULENT DEBT ELIMINATION SCHEME
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that DEOWRAJ BUDDHU, 69, of Wethersfield, was arrested yesterday on a federal criminal complaint charging him with mail fraud and conspiracy offenses stemming from an allegedly fraudulent debt elimination scheme. BUDDHU appeared this morning before United States Magistrate Judge Thomas P. Smith in Hartford and is detained pending a detention hearing that is scheduled for June 14 at 10 a.m.
As alleged in the criminal complaint, between February 2009 and June 2012, BUDDHU and his daughter, Sunita Buddhu, sold a debt elimination “program” to individuals whereby, in exchange for substantial fees paid to the BUDDHUS, victims were told about a secret government fund that could be used to pay off their mortgages and other debts. BUDDHU typically targeted vulnerable individuals who spoke little, if any, English. In furtherance of the scheme, BUDDHU would advise his clients to stop making payments on their mortgages and other debts, and he would provide them with fictitious promissory notes, as well as other frivolous documentation, which BUDDHU claimed his clients could use to pay their debts. BUDDHU then directed his victims to present the fraudulent promissory notes and other documentation to banks and other creditors. As a result of stopping their mortgage payments, many of BUDDHU’s victims ended up in foreclosure proceedings and are at risk of losing their homes and other assets.
The charge of mail fraud carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million, and the charge of the conspiracy carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that a complaint is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Sunita Buddhu is currently being sought by law enforcement. Citizens who have information about her whereabouts are encouraged to call 860-756-4720, 860-756-4721, or 617-994-8450.
This matter is being investigated by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Wethersfield Police Department. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Lisa E. Perkins.
This case was brought in coordination with the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established to wage an aggressive and coordinated effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
To report financial fraud crimes, and to learn more about the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.
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