Indian-origin man faces 20 years in jail for conspiring with contractor to defraud employer

indica News Bureau-


A 66-year-old man of Indian origin has pleaded guilty to charges of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud his employer of more than US $1.7 million.

Rakesh Kaushal of Maryland pled guilty last week to the federal charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, Robert Hur, US attorney for the district of Maryland, and Jennifer Boone, FBI special agent in charge of the Baltimore field office, said.

Kaushal, who is in detention, faces a maximum of 20 years in prison. The sentencing will take place in January 2020.

According to his plea agreement, between August 2015 and January 2017, Kaushal was employed by a company based in Maryland that provided construction and design services, mostly to federal agencies.

Kaushal admitted conspiring with Ivan Victor Thrane, owner and president of three construction firms operating in Dickerson and Beltsville, Maryland, to cheat his employer. They did so by submitting fraudulent payment requests for work purportedly performed by the three companies. Kaushal was to review and approve the work.

Prosecutors said that after committing the fraud, Kaushal wired US $650,000, including proceeds of the scam, from one of his bank accounts to an account in India, with Kaushal listed as the beneficiary.

Kaushal’s employer eventually initiated civil litigation against him and Thrane and obtained a default judgment against the former of US$1,740,330.

Kaushal then filed for bankruptcy. During a meeting of creditors in the bankruptcy proceedings, he said he had used some of the proceeds of the fraud to purchase a condominium in India for a family member and lost more than US $100,000 gambling at various casinos.

Kaushal admitted that the loss attributable to him as a result of the fraud was between $1.5 million and $3.5 million.

Thrane, 65, pled guilty to his role in the scheme in August and will also be sentenced in January.

As part of their plea agreements, Kaushal and Thrane are required to forfeit and pay restitution in full of the victim’s losses still outstanding, which is at least US $988,805.