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Indian-American attorney indicted for defrauding clients of more than $5 mn

New York, July 3 (IANS) An Indian-American attorney who once ran for a seat in the US House of Representatives has been indicted by a federal jury in Boston for defrauding clients of more than $5 million in escrow funds.

Abhijit “Beej” Das, 50, was arrested last week in connection with a scheme to defraud a business-to-business supply company based in India of millions of dollars, and using client funds for business and personal expenses, including the purchase of a $2.7 million home in Florida.

A former candidate for the US House of Representatives in the third Congressional district of Massachusetts, Das was indicted on 10 counts of wire fraud.

He was on pretrial release for charges of federal Campaign Act violations and making false statements in 2021.

According to a Justice Department press statement, Das was the principal manager of a boutique law and advisory firm called Troca Global Advisors with offices in Boston and New York.  

Beginning in or about May 2020, Das began providing legal representation and escrow services to two twin brothers and their logistical supply company in India that was coordinating large shipments of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) during the pandemic.

The indictment alleged that Das diverted more than $5 million in escrow funds from his clients’ accounts to other accounts and used the funds for personal expenses.

This included expenses for his law firm, a yacht owned by one of his hotels, as well as $2.7 million for his Boca Raton home in Florida.

He allegedly induced his clients to transfer funds to accounts he controlled in multi-step, layered transactions under the guise of legal advice about the risk of potential litigation and provided clients with fraudulent and forged account statements to conceal the scheme.

The indictment also alleged that Das committed nine of the 10 counts of wire fraud while on court mandated pretrial release conditions resulting from his June 2021 indictment.

That earlier indictment charged Das with campaign finance violations, embezzlement of campaign funds and making materially false statements to the Federal Election Commission.

The charges of wire fraud each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and fine of $250,000, or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.

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