Indian man from New Jersey pleads guilty to conspiring to defraud victim of gold


A New Jersey man pleaded guilty in federal court in Springfield May 27, 2023, to his role in a conspiracy which resulted in a Massachusetts victim converting her bank account funds into gold, because she was tricked into believing that her accounts had been compromised by purported drug traffickers.

Gaurang Contractor, 38, a citizen of India living in Jersey City, N.J., pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to a March 29, 2023 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for May 24, 2023. Contractor was previously arrested on state charges in August 2022 and later indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2022.

A man posing as an agent for the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) who referred to himself as “Oscar White,” contacted a victim in early August 2022 and told the victim that her bank accounts had been “compromised” by drug dealers.

“Oscar White” directed the victim to convert her life savings to gold and provided the victim with the name of a jewelry store in Hadley, Mass. where the victim could purchase gold.

“Oscar White” then directed the victim to leave the gold in her unlocked vehicle and promised to send a “court officer” to pick up the gold for safekeeping by the DEA.  The victim became suspicious and contacted law enforcement.

On Aug. 8, 2022, Contractor, unaware that the victim had contacted law enforcement, drove from New Jersey to Hadley, Mass, and conducted surveillance at the jewelry store.

Contractor did not know that a law enforcement officer, posing as the victim, entered the jewelry store and completed a sham transaction for two buckets worth of gold. Contractor followed the victim’s vehicle containing fake gold to a nearby parking lot. Upon arriving at the meeting location in the parking lot, Contractor removed the two buckets he believed to contain gold from the victim’s vehicle and placed them in his own car. He was subsequently arrested.

The charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to a $250,000.



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