4 Indian Americans among 5 held  for illegally processing over USD 600 million through unlicensed money transmitting businesses

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EDISON, NJ (TIP): Five men, including four Indian Americans, have been arrested on charges of illegally processing more than USD 600 million through unlicensed money-transmitting businesses, an attorney said.

US Attorney Philip R. Sellinger said the four Indian Americans were Raj Vaidya (26), Rakesh Vaidya (51), Shrey Vaidya (23), and Neel Patel (26), all residents of Edison, New Jersey. The fifth person is Youssef Janfar, (57) from Great Neck, New York, the attorney said. They were arrested on Thursday, September 7.

According to court documents, Raj Vaidya, Rakesh Vaidya, Shrey Vaidya, and Neel Patel operated numerous purported diamond, gold, and jewelry companies in New York City’s Diamond District since 2019.

Federal prosecutors said Janfar also operated companies in the Diamond District, including the Rodeo of New York.

They used these and other entities as fronts for illegal financial transactions of hundreds of millions of dollars for customers. It included converting cash to checks or wire transfers in exchange for substantial fees, the prosecutors said.

At times, the accused moved millions of dollars in cash in a day. None of their companies were registered as money transmitting businesses with New York, New Jersey, or the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN), the court papers 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 USD 250,000, or twice the gross amount of any pecuniary gain that any persons derived from the offence or of any pecuniary loss sustained by any victims of the offence, whichever is greatest.

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