Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Securites Fraud, Inducing Interstate Travel for the Purposes of Fraud, Wire Fraud
Las Vegas, Nev. - Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada and Grant D. Ashley, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, announced that on February 15, 2002, ANIL KUMAR GUPTA pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, Securities Fraud, and Inducing Interstate Travel for the Purposes of Fraud, as well as two other unrelated counts of Wire Fraud. GUPTA, 44, was born in India, but is a Canadian citizen who resided in Las Vegas, Nevada, since 1991.
The Conspiracy guilty plea satisfied an indictment that had been filed in May, 2001, and involved GUPTA leading a conspiracy to sell historical Railroad bonds from long-defunct companies. The bonds these companies issued are worthless as securities, having only a nominal memorabilia value. GUPTA and his co-conspirators falsely represented the bonds as valid financial securities, and used a "pigeon-drop" scam to induce purchasers into believing they would be able to re-sell the bonds at a high profit immediately.
The first Wire Fraud count involved GUPTA trading documents, purporting to be "grant deeds" to land in Tennessee, which he represented as being valid, but knew to be worthless, for valuable art works. GUPTA defrauded a well-known artist in California of approximately 200 paintings.
The second Wire Fraud count involved GUPTA selling a 1985 Rolls-Royce automobile while representing that the title was free of liens, when in fact he knew it to be encumbered.
GUPTA and his wife, Shruti Misra, submitted a bid to purchase the Minnesota Vikings in 1998. GUPTA's bid of $180 million, subsequently raised to $225 million, was rejected when GUPTA could not substantiate his claim that his wife was worth $5.1 billion.
GUPTA also made a highly-publicized donation of $5.1 million to Active Blind and Visually Impaired of Nevada in 1998, only to have it revealed that the donation consisted of worthless railroad bonds (see above) and other unsubstantiated assets, including unpatented mining claims in central Nevada. The charity actually lost several hundred dollars on the deal.
GUPTA's sentencing is scheduled for May 17, 2002. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Matthew Parrella.