International scammer pleads guilty to scheme targeting elderly NJ residents

The Newark federal court building.
The Newark federal court building. Photo credit Michael Loccisano/Getty Images

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) — A 29-year-old man pleaded guilty to an international conspiracy to scam elderly victims in New Jersey by pretending to be bank or business anti-fraud specialists, the Department of Justice announced Thursday.

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Between April 2020 and August 2021, Ashish Bajaj, who is an Indian national, and unnamed co-conspirators impersonated fraud prevention specialists from banks, online retailers and online payment services in order to convince people in New Jersey to send them money.

The group would claim the victims’ accounts were being targeted for fraud, which, ironically, was true — only insofar as Bajaj and his co-conspirators were targeting their victims.

They would tell their marks they needed to participate in a sting operation to catch the phony fraudsters.

The real fraudsters would then request the victims send them money, promising to return it once the operation was complete and the imagined perpetrator was arrested.

The group made over $250,000 this way.

Bajaj pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a Newark federal court.

He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He’s scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 8, 2022.