Five Indian American men who work in New York Cityâ€™s Diamond District have been charged with illegally processing more than $600 million through unlicensed money-transmitting businesses,
The five accused â€” Raj Vaidya, 26; Rakesh Vaidya, 51; Shrey Vaidya, 23; and Neel Patel, 26, all of Edison, New Jersey; and Youssef Janfar, aka â€œJoe Rodeo,â€ 57, of Great Neck, New York â€” appeared before US Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel in Newark federal court on Sep. 7 and were released on unsecured bond.
They are each charged by complaint with one count of operating and aiding and abetting the operation of an unlicensed money transmitting business, US Attorney for New Jersey District Philip R. Sellinger announced.
According to court documents, since 2019, Raj Vaidya, Rakesh Vaidya, Shrey Vaidya, and Patel have operated numerous purported diamond, gold, and jewelry companies in New York Cityâ€™s Diamond District.
These include Arya Diamond Jewellery USA Inc., d/b/a â€œKarats & Carats,â€ Diamspark LGD LLC, Royal Diamonds LLC, Raj Gold and Diamond LLC, Royal Arya Jewellery Inc, and Raj Gold and Diamond Inc.
Janfar also purportedly operated companies in the Diamond District, including Rodeo of NY, d/b/a â€œSarah Jewels.â€
The defendants used these and other entities as fronts to conduct hundreds of millions of dollars in illegal financial transactions for customers â€“ including converting cash to checks or wire transfers â€“ in exchange for substantial fees, the release said.
At times, they 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), it said.
The charge of operating and 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, or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain that any persons derived from the offense or of any pecuniary loss sustained by any victims of the offense, whichever is greatest, according to the release.