PITTSFIELD, Mass. (NEWS10) – The Berkshire District Attorney’s Office announced Wednesday that it obtained guilty convictions, and will give victims of a nationwide fraud scheme their money back, in a resolution of a Berkshire Superior Court Case. Ajaykumar Chaudhari, 26, of Pownal, Vermont, and Jitendra Chaudhari, 29, of Williamstown, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty on Monday to single counts of larceny over $1,200 by single scheme and attempt to commit a crime to wit: larceny over $1,200.
In December, a third defendant, Parth Chaudhari, pleaded guilty to the same charges. In total, the three defendants will pay $212,924 in restitution.
“The victims in this case overwhelmingly supported a resolution that would return the most money in the most timely manner while sparing them, many of whom are aging and live out of state, from having to travel to Massachusetts to testify,” District Attorney Andrea Harrington said. She also thanked the Adams Police Department for their detailed and thorough investigation into the scheme.
The court required that the defendants provide restitution payments before accepting the plea, ensuring the victims got their money back quickly and in a more significant amount than through a jury trial and a later restitution hearing.
The three ran a multi-state scheme that was meant to defraud people through phone scams. Police in other jurisdictions in the county alerted Adams Police in March 2020 that the victims were sending packages of money to addresses in the Town of Adams. Adams Police and the Berkshire State Police Detective Unit assigned to the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office then conducted a three-month investigation.
Police in Lanesborough, North Adams, Pittsfield, Williamstown, Hoosick Falls, New York, and the Berkshire County Sheriff’s Office assisted. During the investigation, victims and law enforcement intercepted and returned packages back to victims that totaled $106,000. In June, local law enforcement executed 27 search warrants, eventually identifying a business in Adams as the scheme’s headquarters.
The court filed the guilty convictions of Ajaykumar Chaudhari and Jitendra Chaudhari for two years and sentenced Parth Chaudhari to time served, which was around eight months.