Four Arrested Using NY Diamond District Firms As Fronts To Move $600 Million
NEW YORK, NY (IANS) – Four Indian Americans have been arrested and charged with illegally processing more than $600 million through unlicensed money-transmitting businesses in New York.
Raj Vaidya, 26; Rakesh Vaidya, 51; Shrey Vaidya, 23; and Neel Patel, 26, from New Jersey were charged on September 7 with one count of operating and aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business, US Attorney Philip R. Sellinger announced.
A fifth person Youssef Janfar, 57, from Great Neck, New York, was also arrested and charged, the attorney said.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Raj, Rakesh, Shrey, and Neel have been operating numerous purported diamond, gold, and jewelry companies in New York City’s Diamond District since 2019.
The defendants used these companies and other entities as fronts to conduct hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal financial transactions for customers — including converting cash to checks or wire transfers — in exchange for substantial fees.
They also moved millions of dollars in cash in a single day. None of their companies were registered as money-transmitting businesses with New York, New Jersey, or the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN).
The charge of operating aiding and abetting the operation of an illegal money-transmitting business carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
The penalty may also include twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain that any person derived from the offense or of any pecuniary loss sustained by any victims of the offense, whichever is greatest.