Indian Man Pleads Guilty To Misusing Facebook, WhatsApp For US Immigration Fraud

Kanwar Sarabjit Singh claimed himself to be a US immigration employee over Facebook, WhatsApp

New York: 

An Indian citizen has pleaded guilty to operating a fraud scheme by falsely representing as an employee of the US immigration service in which he used social media platforms such as Facebook and WhatsApp to scam people seeking to obtain American visas.

Kanwar Sarabjit Singh, 51, a lawful permanent resident of the United States, used Facebook and WhatsApp to falsely represent himself as an employee of the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). He claimed he worked in the US Immigration and Naturalisation Service, and would obtain genuine US visas in exchange for a fee of $3,000 to $4,000, US Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia said.

Mr Singh pleaded guilty to wire fraud and impersonation of a federal officer and faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison when sentenced on December 14.

As part of his scheme, Mr Singh created a fake photo identification document pretending to be from the DHS, which he mailed to others in an effort to show that he was capable to obtain US immigration documents.

Mr Singh instructed individuals seeking immigration documents to e-mail him passport photographs, copies of their passports and other personally identifying information and to send him money through overnight delivery service or by wire transfer.

After receiving these documents and the requested fee up front, Mr Singh created and mailed fake letters purporting to be from the US Embassy in New Delhi which falsely represented that there was an appointment to pick up the requested visa documents. Many of Mr Singh’s victims resided overseas and were impoverished.

In addition to this visa fraud scheme, Mr Singh also admitted to engaging in an investment fraud scheme in Tennessee in 2012 in which he defrauded approximately 22 investors of approximately $340,000.

Mr Singh gained the trust of a local pastor and his church, including elderly members, and falsely represented to them that he owned a small company in India that provided labour for services, including data entry, to two large, international companies and that for a small, up-front investment, they would see a large return on their money.

Federal authorities said those defrauded by Mr Singh should contact the FBI’s Washington Field Office.

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Former Donald Trump Campaign Manager Paul Manafort Pleads Guilty In Robert Mueller Probe

Paul Manafort pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States (Reuters)


U.S. President Donald Trump’s former campaign chairman Paul Manafort will plead guilty to two criminal counts as part of a deal with prosecutors on Friday, court documents showed in what could be a blow to Trump in Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s long-running probe of Russian election meddling.

As part of the deal, Manafort, 69, could be required to cooperate with Mueller’s probe into Russia’s role in the 2016 presidential election and whether Trump’s campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Details of the deal were likely to emerge in a plea agreement hearing scheduled for 11 a.m. ET (1500 GMT) in federal court. Manafort would become the most prominent former Trump campaign official to plead guilty in Mueller’s investigation, which has cast a shadow over Trump’s presidency.

It remains unclear if the deal will include Manafort’s cooperation with Mueller’s probe, dealing a blow to Trump ahead of congressional elections on Nov. 6.

Another approach would be for Manafort to plead guilty without cooperating in hopes of a presidential pardon. Trump has not said whether he would pardon Manafort, but the president has not publicly ruled it out.

Manafort will plead guilty to one count of conspiracy against the United States and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, according to documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. Five other charges were dropped in the new court filing.

A Virginia jury convicted Manafort last month on bank and tax fraud charges.

Jury selection was due to begin on Monday in a second trial on charges including conspiring to launder money, conspiring to defraud the United States, failing to register as a foreign agent and witness tampering.

Manafort’s decision could be a blow to Trump, who last month praised his former aide for not entering into an agreement with prosecutors, as the president’s former personal lawyer Michael Cohen had.

On Twitter on Aug. 22, Trump wrote: “Unlike Michael Cohen, he refused to ‘break’ – make up stories in order to get a ‘deal. Such respect for a brave man!”

According to the court filing, the charge of conspiracy against the United States includes money laundering, tax fraud, failing to disclose foreign bank accounts, and acting as an unregistered lobbyist for pro-Russian politicians in Ukraine. The second count, for conspiracy to obstruct justice, concerns attempts to tamper with witnesses related to Manafort’s foreign lobbying.

Manafort’s conviction in Alexandria, Virginia, last month was at a trial arising from Mueller’s investigation. Trump has denied colluding with the Russians and the Russians have denied interfering.

Rick Gates, Manafort’s former business partner and the campaign’s deputy chairman, pleaded guilty to lesser charges in exchange for his cooperation, later testifying against Manafort in Virginia. Gates may have been a prosecution witness in his Washington trial as well.

Rudy Giuliani, the former New York City mayor who is now representing Trump in the Russia probe, told Reuters on Friday that a guilty plea to avoid a second trial would not crush Manafort’s chances of receiving an eventual presidential pardon.

“It’s not going to hurt him if he pleads guilty. Usually it helps you get a pardon down the road. It shows you’ve admitted your guilt,” he said on Friday before a deal was announced. He declined further comment until after the hearing.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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John Millman ‘A Little Guilty’ After Shocking Roger Federer

John Millman’s joy was tinged with guilt after he stunned 20-time Grand Slam champion Roger Federer to reach the US Open quarter-finals on Monday. As Federer struggled in suffocating humidity, his physical troubles contributing to 77 unforced errors, Brisbane-born Millman gained in strength to close out the contest 3-6, 7-5, 7-6 (9/7), 7-6 (7/3). “I felt a little bit guilty today because he didn’t have his best day today that’s for sure,” said Millman, a 29-year-old ranked 55th in the world.


“I’m very aware he didn’t have a great day in the office. Probably to beat him I needed him to have an off day and I needed to have a good day.”


Millman, in the last 16 of a Grand Slam for the first time, admitted to feeling like “a deer in the headlights” in the first set, but he rose to the occasion on the 23,000-seat Arthur Ashe Stadium court.


“It was a slightly intimidating environment,” he said. “At the start I don’t think I was playing so well. But as the match went on, I felt more comfortable, felt pretty good.


“I’ve always done a good job of not letting the moment get the better of me,” added Millman, whose career has been slowed by a string of injuries and three surgeries.


Even though he felt his win owed something to Federer’s off night, he didn’t see why he couldn’t press on in his bid to become the first Australian man to win a Grand Slam since Lleyton Hewitt at Wimbledon in 2002.


“Why not,” he said of his chances of beating 13-time major winner Novak Djokovic in the quarter-finals.


“I’ll have to improve a lot on the last time I played him,” said Millman, who won just three games in a Queen’s Club loss to Djokovic this year. “He’s an incredible player and he’s in really good form now, too.


“But why not? I think it’s a disservice to who I am if I go out there and don’t have that belief.”

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Texas Man Who Assaulted An Indian Sikh In Washington In 2016 Found Guilty

The Sikh man was attacked outside Dupont Circle in Washington DC (Representational)

A jury found a Texas man guilty of aggravated assault with a hate-crime enhancement for beating an Indian Sikh man here two years ago, U.S. Attorney Jessie K. Liu announced Friday.

The jury found 26-year-old Dylan Millhausen of Houston guilty on Thursday and added the bias-related enhancement because the victim was targeted for race, religion or national origin, according to a news release.

Officials said the victim, who wears a turban, was with friends about 2:45 a.m. Aug. 21, 2016, just south of Dupont Circle when the attack occurred. The victim, who was 27 at the time, had recently left a lounge when Millhausen came up behind him, pulled off his turban and punched him in the face until he was unconscious. The attack required medical treatment, according to the release.

Sikhism is a religion originating in India. Its male adherents typically wear a turban as an article of faith. Sikhs in the United States have frequently been targeted for verbal and physical attacks, including a 2012 shooting at a temple in Wisconsin that left six dead. The attackers sometimes confuse Sikhs with Muslims.

Millhausen was apprehended by D.C. police and told them he likened the victim to Islamic extremists responsible for terrorist attacks and plots in Europe that occurred in 2016.

Millhausen will be sentenced Nov. 30.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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20 Men Acquitted Earlier Declared Guilty In 2010 Mirchpur Dalit Killings

With today’s verdict, 12 out of 33 convicts are sentenced to life imprisonment for the 2010 killings

New Delhi: 

The Delhi High Court today overturned the acquittal of 20 persons in the 2010 Mirchpur Dalit killing case while observing that instances of atrocities against Scheduled Castes have not abated even after 71 years of Independence.

The high court also upheld the conviction of 13 persons by the trial court and enhanced the punishment of some of the convicts.

A 60-year-old Dalit man and his physically challenged daughter were burnt alive by members of the Jat community in Mirchpur village in Haryana’s Hisar district in April 2010.

With today’s verdict, 12 out of 33 convicts are sentenced to life imprisonment for the offences, including murder under the IPC and committing mischief by fire or explosive substance by a member of a community other than SC/ST, intending to cause damage property of a member of the Scheduled Caste or Scheduled Tribe community under the SC/ST (Prevention Of Atrocities) Act.

A bench of Justices S Muralidhar and I S Mehta said 71 years after Independence, instances of “atrocities” against Scheduled Castes by those belonging to dominant castes have shown “no sign of abating”.

“The incidents that took place in Mirchpur between April 19 and 21, 2010 serve as yet another grim reminder of ‘the complete absence of two things in Indian society’ as noted by Dr B R Ambedkar when he tabled the final draft of the Constitution of India before the Constituent Assembly on November 25, 1949. One was ‘equality’ and the other ‘fraternity’,” the bench said in its 209-page verdict.

The court held that there was deliberate targeting of houses of  members of Balmiki community by members of the Jat community and common object in the case was to “teach  members of the Balmiki community a lesson and this has been fully achieved by the accused persons.”

It said the fine amounts collected from the convicts shall be utilised by the Haryana Government as part of the provision of pecuniary relief and rehabilitation to the victims.

The Delhi High Court pronounced the verdict on the appeal of 13 persons challenging their conviction and sentence by a trial court in the case.

The victims and the police had also appealed in the high court seeking enhancement of punishment awarded to the convicts and acquittal of others.

The trial court had on September 24, 2011, convicted 15 of 97 men belonging to the Jat community. Two convicted died during pendency of appeals. In October 2012, the 98th accused, who was earlier absconding, was tried and acquitted by the trial court.

The house of Tara Chand was set on fire resulting in burning alive of the father and daughter on April 21, 2010 after a dispute between Jat and Dalit community of the village.

On October 31, 2011, the trial court had sentenced Kulwinder, Dharambir and Ramphal to life imprisonment for committing unintentional killing under Section 304 of the Indian Penal Code.  The high court modified the provision and convicted them for the offence of murder under Section 302 IPC.

 Five others — Baljeet, Karamveer, Karampal, Dharambir and Bobal — were handed down jail term of five years for their offences including rioting, voluntarily causing hurt, mischief and putting ablaze victims’ houses and provisions of SC/ST (POA) Act.

Seven others, convicted under milder penal provisions, were released on probation by the trial court, which had earlier acquitted 82 out of 97 accused in the case.

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Trump Aide Michael Cohen Pleads Guilty To 2016 Campaign Finance Offenses

Cohen said he arranged to make payments for the principal purpose of influencing the election (File)

New York: 

US President Donald Trump’s former personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, pleaded guilty in New York on Tuesday to campaign finance violations and other charges, saying he made payments to influence the 2016 election at the direction of a candidate for federal office.

The guilty pleas came in the same hour that a federal jury in Alexandria, Virginia, convicted former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort of eight charges of tax and bank fraud and failing to disclose foreign bank accounts.

Cohen, 51, appearing in federal court in Manhattan, pleaded guilty to one count of wilfully causing an unlawful corporate campaign contribution and one count of making an excessive campaign contribution.

Cohen, one of Trump’s closest associates for more than a decade, said he arranged to make payments “for (the) principal purpose of influencing (the) election” at the direction of a candidate for federal office. He did not give the candidate’s name.

Porn star Stormy Daniels has said Cohen paid her $130,000 shortly before the November 2016 election to keep quiet about a 2006 sexual encounter with Trump.

In addition, Cohen recorded a conversation with Trump two months before the election in which they discussed buying the rights to a story by former Playboy model Karen McDougal, who said she had an affair with Trump, lawyer Rudy Giuliani said last month.

Under U.S. election law, campaign contributions, defined as things of value given to a campaign in order to influence an election, must be disclosed. A payment intended to silence allegations of an affair just before an election could constitute a campaign contribution, some experts have said.

Cohen, who once said he would “take a bullet” for Trump, agreed to a plea bargain with federal prosecutors earlier Tuesday. He also pleaded guilty to five counts of tax fraud and one count of making false statements to a financial institution.

The plea deal includes a possible sentence of up to five years and three months in prison, Judge William Pauley III said during the hearing. Pauley scheduled sentencing for Dec. 12 and set bail at $500,000.

Manafort conviction’s resulted from U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election and possible coordination with Trump’s Republican campaign.

The probe also led to a referral from Mueller about Cohen to federal prosecutors in New York, who began their own probe of the attorney.

Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion with Russia or having sex with Daniels or McDougal, and has called the Mueller investigation a witch hunt. Russia has denied meddling in the election. U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded Moscow interfered.

Cohen, who worked as Trump’s personal attorney at the Trump Organization, continued to advise the president after the election. But their relationship had frayed in recent months.

In court on Tuesday, Cohen’s voice cracked as he answered questions from Pauley.

Asked a standard question about whether he had consumed any alcohol or drugs before making his guilty plea, Cohen said he had had only a glass of 12-year-old Glenlivet, single-malt scotch with dinner the night before.

Cohen agreed to the plea deal to save millions of dollars, protect his family and limit his exposure, Politico said, quoting an unnamed source.

The investigation of Cohen included a raid in April by FBI agents, who seized documents and files from his office, home and hotel room.

The New York Times had reported on Sunday that federal prosecutors were focused on more than $20 million in loans obtained by Cohen from taxi businesses owned by him and his family.

Mueller’s investigation, which began in May 2017, has resulted in the indictment of more than 30 people and five guilty pleas.

The April FBI raids provoked an immediate reaction from Trump, who asked a judge to block prosecutors from reviewing the materials they had seized, citing attorney-client privilege. The effort was unsuccessful.

A number of Cohen’s financial dealings since Trump’s January 2017 inauguration have become public.

Swiss drugmaker Novartis AG has said it had paid Cohen nearly $1.2 million in a consulting deal; U.S. telecommunications company AT&T Inc said it made payments of $600,000; and South Korea’s Korea Aerospace Industries Ltd said it hired him for $150,000.

Critics have said the payments may have been attempts to buy influence with the president.

Cohen also received $500,000 from Columbus Nova LLC, a New York company linked to Russian businessman Viktor Vekselberg. The firm has said the transaction had nothing to do with Vekselberg.

© Thomson Reuters 2018

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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Ben Stokes in Bristol Controversy get relief, Court found him not Guilty understands that your privacy is important to you and we are committed for being transparent about the technologies we use.  This cookie policy explains how and why cookies and other similar technologies may be stored on and accessed from your device when you use or visit websites that posts a link to this Policy (collectively, “the sites”). This cookie policy should be read together with our Privacy Policy.

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Cricketer Ben Stokes Not Guilty Of Affray After Fight Outside Bristol Club

England cricketer Ben Stokes was on Tuesday cleared of affray after a fight outside a Bristol nightclub. A jury at Bristol crown court acquitted the 27-year-old all-rounder after he gave evidence saying he had acted in self-defence. The 27-year-old — whose co-defendant Ryan Ali was also found not guilty — had been charged following a brawl hours after England played the West Indies in a one-day international in Bristol, southwest England, in September last year. At the start of the trial the prosecution tried to amend the indictment and charge Stokes with two counts of assault occasioning actual bodily harm but this was rejected by the judge. And halfway through the trial Stokes’s legal team attempted to have the case against him dropped but this was also refused by the judge.

New Zealand-born Stokes said in his testimony last Friday he had a “significant memory blackout” but he was “absolutely not” an angry man who had lost all control.

Stokes said he intervened because 28-year-old Ali and his friend Ryan Hale — who had been acquitted earlier in the trial — had directed alleged homophobic abuse at gay men William O’Connor and Kai Barry as they walked away from Mbargo nightclub.

Stokes went out celebrating after beating the West Indies in a match in Bristol on September 24.

Stokes said he would have had a bottle of beer after the match, two or three pints at the hotel, five or six vodka and lemonades and then “potentially had some Jagerbombs” in Mbargo.

Ali who was knocked unconscious and suffered a fractured eye socket said in his evidence he remained in the care of a surgeon and still suffered from double vision.

He said his memory of the night was “incomplete” due to his head injury.

Ali recalled walking along the street with Hale, Barry and O’Connor, “having a laugh and some banter and the next thing I remember is having a tall blond man charging towards me”. 

“I just didn’t want any trouble so I was backing away, trying to retreat.”

Stokes‘s career has been on hold during the trial — meaning he missed England’s second Test victory over India at Lord’s — and he was omitted form the squad for the third Test which gets underway next Saturday. 

A brief statement issued by the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) said they would review Stokes’s position following the conclusion of the trial.

(With AFP Inputs)

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3 Men Found Guilty Of Killing Indian-Origin Jeweller Ramniklal Jogiya In UK

Ramniklal Jogiya was last seen on CCTV footage locking up and leaving his family’s jewellery store.


Three men have been found guilty of kidnapping and ruthlessly killing a 74-year-old Indian-origin jeweller in the UK’s Leicester city earlier this year.

Ramniklal Jogiya had gone missing as he walked home from his store on the city’s famous “Golden Mile” of jewellery shops and was later found dead in a lane nearby, triggering a murder investigation by Leicestershire Police.

 Following a five-week trial that ended at Birmingham Crown Court on Wednesday, Thomas Jervis, 24, and Charles Frances Mcauley, 20, were found guilty of murder. A third member of the gang, 20-year-old Callan Reeve, was found guilty of manslaughter. All three had denied killing MrJogiya and pleaded guilty to kidnap and robbery.

“Rarely have I investigated a crime so wicked and ruthless. The depravity, inhumanity and utter contempt they showed for their victim has caused untold anguish for his family and stunned the whole community,” said Detective Chief Inspector David Swift-Rollinson from Leicestershire Police, who led the murder investigation.

“The only possible comfort left for the family is that the people responsible for this terrible crime will now be locked up for a very long time,” he said.

 The court heard how the gang had spent weeks planning to rob a safe at Jogiya’s jewellery shop on Belgrave Road.

 On the evening of January 24, they kidnapped him as he walked home, having locked up his shop for the night. After bundling him into a stolen van, they launched a horrific attack forcing him to hand over the keys to his shop, and torturing him until he told them the shop’s alarm de-activation code and – critically – the combination code for a safe.

 But despite their meticulous planning, they had not realized the safe was on a 12-hour delay, and they could not get into it. The terrified jeweller was then dumped and left to die alone in the middle of the countryside, said the police, who described the attack on the jeweller as “horrific and brutal”.

All three gang members have been remanded into custody and will be sentenced on September 10.

A fourth suspect, 30-year-old Javon Roach, was acquitted of kidnap, robbery and murder.

 At around 7.45 pm on the evening of January 24, Mr Jogiya locked up his shop in Belgrave Road and, as he did every night, set off on his short walk home. But he did not arrive, and by 8pm his family knew something was wrong.

 Having visited the shop, phoned his mobile phone, and made other enquiries, the family raised the alarm and a major investigation was launched.

Tragically, around 10 am the following morning, the body of the “loving husband and devoted father of three” was found beside Leicester Airfield.

What had begun as a missing person inquiry immediately became a murder investigation.

Mr Jogiya had suffered a total of 27 injuries including broken ribs, wounds to his face, hands and arms, and had died from a major brain injury caused by a severe assault to his head. In short, he had been beaten to death.

During the six-month investigation, officers found CCTV images of Jogiya locking up the jewellers and beginning his walk home. Other images showed three men jumping out of a white transit van and bundling the terrified shopkeeper into the vehicle.

Further images showed that, about 50 minutes later, a man dressed in a burqa and pulling a shopping trolley entered Jogiya’s shop. This person was seen to deactivate the shop alarm, go to the back of the shop where Jogiya kept a safe, before emerging a little time later,  seemingly empty-handed.

DCI Swift-Rollinson said: “These men had planned to kidnap and rob Mr Jogiya, but it went tragically wrong. They launched a sustained and ferocious attack on Mr Jogiya which ultimately killed him.

“Mr Jogiya’s safe was set with a 12-hour delay every night when he went home, and even with the right combination code no-one could have accessed it until 12 hours later. Realising they could not get access to the Asian gold he kept in the safe, the gang drove away from the scene, empty-handed, throwing their victim’s phone out of the window in the countryside.

“At some point they decided to dump Mr Jogiya in the middle of the open countryside, knowing he was a long way from help. Although he was still alive at this point, the injuries he had suffered were so severe that he could not be saved.”

He described the jeweller as a “kind, gentle and devoted family man”, who fell victim to the savage beating of a defenceless, elderly man, who was left to die. He added: “It almost defies words what they did to him. My thoughts, first and foremost, remain with Mr Jogiya’s family.

“I thank them for their cooperation and patience with the investigation team, and I cannot praise more highly the dignity they have shown throughout this nightmare. I can only hope that the verdicts of the jury will bring them some, small, solace.”

The police chief reached out to the wider community of jewellers from Belgrave Road, mostly of Indian origin, for their help with the “truly shocking” incident, which had an “awful impact” on the city. 

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Indian-Origin Man Bhaskar Patel Pleads Guilty For Taking $2.5 Million In Bribes In US

Pre-sentence investigation will be conducted before formal sentence for Bhaskar Patel (Representational)


An Indian-origin man has pleaded guilty to taking $2.5 million in bribes and kickbacks from companies seeking contracts to work on energy saving projects in the US government buildings.

Bhaskar Patel, 67, of Windermere, Florida, received the bribes and kickbacks when he served as a senior project manager for Schneider Electric Building Americas, based in Andover, Massachusetts.

He was responsible for obtaining bids from subcontractors and recommending for selection the subcontractors that would be awarded a contract under an energy saving project.

The payments were associated with federal energy savings performance contracts issued to Schneider Electric by various federal agencies from June 6, 2011, to April 19, 2016.

He pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Rutland to two felony charges, each carrying maximum penalties of 10 years in prison. He remains free on his personal recognizance pending a December 7 sentencing hearing.

Judge Geoffrey Crawford said federal probation officials would conduct a pre-sentence investigation before he formally hands down a sentence for Bhaskar Patel.

As part of a plea agreement, federal prosecutors filed a notice of forfeiture totalling $2,536,119 from Bhaskar Patel, VT Digger, a Vermont news portal, reported.

The plea agreement states that prosecutors have agreed to reduce the forfeiture amount to $1.75 million if Patel pays $950,000 on or before his sentencing.

He also faces fines of up to $5,072,238.38, or twice his ill-gotten gains.

Among the items federal prosecutors are seeking to seize as part of the forfeiture are his property in Windermere; a 2012 Mercedes-Benz E Class E350 vehicle; a watch; six rings; 43 earrings; 10 bracelets; 18 bangles; six pendants, USD 35,700 in Indian rupees and a timeshare property in Hilton Head, South Carolina, the portal reported.

Assistant US Attorney Abigail Averbach, a prosecutor in the case, said charges against other individuals involved in the case are possible, though she declined to say who those people might be.

Court records do indicate that in some cases Patel directed those paying him to write checks to his adult son and daughter. His children are only identified in court papers as “JP” and “FP”.

David Smith, a spokesman for Schneider Electric, said after the hearing that Mr Bhaskar Patel was terminated as soon as the allegations of wrongdoing came to light.

Mr Bhaskar’s scheme came to light when law enforcement received information that he had altered and falsified a bid document submitted to Schneider Electric by a Vermont subcontractor bidding for work on an energy savings project at the White River Junction VA facility, according to court records.


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