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Press Release

Virginia Man Pleads Guilty To Conspiracy To Commit Wire Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Pennsylvania

HARRISBURG - The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Rishi Budhadev, age 37, of Fredericksburg, Virginia, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

According to United States Attorney Gerard M. Karam, Budhadev admitted to receiving a series of fraudulent MoneyGram money transfers from several individuals he did not know in October 2015.  He also admitted to receiving in October 2015 a fraudulent deposit for $9,000 in his checking account from a person he did not know.  He admitted to receiving each of these transfers at the request of a coconspirator located in India. 

In each of these transactions, Budhadev admitted believing that the funds being transmitted to him had very likely been obtained through fraud.  He admitted consciously using deliberate efforts to avoid confirming the fraudulent nature of these transactions, despite his concerns that they were fraudulent.

Budhadev admitted to using the proceeds of the fraudulent MoneyGram money transfers to purchase iPhones, which he delivered to the same coconspirator located in India in February 2016.  He also admitted to personally withdrawing the $9,000 in cash from his bank account the same day that it was deposited and later delivering the cash to the same coconspirator in India around February 2016.

The government’s investigation determined that, Budhadev, working with other unnamed co-conspirators, defrauded victims using common advance-fee mass marketing scams. During a roughly two-month time period from October 2015 to December 2015, the government found that Budhadev received around 500 MoneyGram money orders worth over $500,000, including about 300 MoneyGram money orders worth over $407,000 from more than 250 senders that he picked up from seven different Walmart stores.  In addition, Budhadev received a number of large cash deposits in his bank accounts, which he quickly withdrew.  The government’s investigation also determined that around 50 people who sent funds to Budhadev subsequently identified themselves as victims of various scams, including investment scams, romance scams, person-in-need scams, internet purchase scams, IRS tax scams, and loan scams. 

Budhadev admitted to receiving a subset of these transactions in connection with his guilty plea.

The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant U.S. Attorney Ravi Romel Sharma is prosecuting the case.

The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 20 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.

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Updated October 19, 2022

Topic
Financial Fraud