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Press Release

Pittsburgh Resident Indicted for Fraud and Conspiracy to Maliciously Destroy East Carson Street Property by Fire

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

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy to maliciously destroy property by fire, and malicious destruction of property by fire, United States Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

The four-count Indictment named Prasad Margabandhu, 47, as the sole defendant.

According to the Indictment, from March 2019 to June 2022, Margabandhu engaged in a scheme to defraud the bankruptcy court by filing multiple bankruptcy petitions in the names of companies he controlled called “RSP Pittsburgh” and “Shane Tracy Enterprises” solely to delay efforts by creditors such as the mortgage holder and taxing bodies to execute on judgments against a property located at 1925 East Carson Street. The Indictment also charges that, in June of 2022, Margabandhu conspired with at least one other person to set fire to the property in order to benefit from an insurance policy on the property. The Indictment further alleges that, on August 31, 2023, Margabandhu committed mail fraud in furtherance of the scheme.

The law provides for a maximum sentence of five years for the bankruptcy fraud count and a fine of up to $250,000. The mail fraud count provides a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment and a fine of up to $250,000. The conspiracy to maliciously destroy property by fire and malicious destruction of property by fire counts each provide for a minimum sentence of five years and up to 20 years in prison, as well as fines totaling up to $500,000. Under the federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorneys Gregory C. Melucci and Shaun E. Sweeney are prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Internal Revenue Service, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Office of the United States Trustee conducted the investigation leading to the Indictment in this case.

An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Updated February 22, 2024