Parag Bhavsar of Newark faces 20 years in prison and $250,000 fine for filing
An Indian national has admitted to defrauding various telephone providers and insurance companies out of millions of dollars with fraudulent claims for replacement cellular devices and then reselling them outside the United States.
Parag Bhavsar, 42, of Newark, New Jersey, pleaded guilty on Aug 30 before US District Judge Madeline Cox Arleo to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit interstate transfer of stolen property, according to a press release from New Jersey District Attorneyâ€™s office.
According to court documents, from June 2013 through June 2019, Bhavsar was involved in a widespread scheme to defraud cellular telephone provider and insurance companies using the US Postal Service mail system, as well as other third-party mail carriers.
He and his conspirators used stolen and fake identities to submit false claims of lost, stolen or damaged cellular telephones, as well as other devices, in order to obtain replacement devices.
Bhavsar and his conspirators maintained a network of mailboxes and storage units across the United States, including in New Jersey, where the replacement devices would be shipped and then held before being sold to third parties outside the United States.
Bhavsar and his conspiratorsâ€™ scheme resulted in millions of dollars of losses to the cellular telephone providers and insurance companies.
The charge of conspiracy to commit mail fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest, according to the release.
The charge of conspiracy to commit interstate transfer of stolen goods carries a maximum potential penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greatest.
As part of the plea agreement, Bhavsar will consent to the entry of a forfeiture money judgement of $10.67 million, the release stated. Sentencing is scheduled for Jan 3, 2024.