US freight services company owner faces fraud charges

Kamlesh Pardasani , the owner of US-based online freight services company FreightGuru.com LLC, has been arrested on suspicion of orchestrating an investment scheme. Pardasani, 49, appeared in federal court in North Carolina on January 7th on charges of defrauding at least five investors of more than $800,000, reports American Shipper. A June 2018 indictment against Mr Pardasani was unsealed in November 2019 after he was arrested at Philadelphia International Airport upon entering the US from India.

The alleged scheme is alleged to have taken place between August 2016 and June 2017. Prosecutors asserted that Mr Pardasani “falsely represented that he would use the investors’ money to fund a specific shipment of goods, and that, once the shipment cleared, the victims’ return rate on their initial investment would be between 15% and 20%”.

The indictment alleges that Pardasani lied to victims by “falsely assuring them that their funds were secure and safe, when in fact he used the victims’ money to fund his lifestyle, pay off personal creditors, and to engage in high-risk securities trading in his personal trading account.”

After failing to invest the funds as promised, Pardasani was alleged to have continued to make false promises “to lull victims and provide excuses for failing to return the victims’ money”.

Pardasani is charged with wire fraud and money laundering, which carry maximum prison terms of 20 years and 10 years respectively, along with fines of $250,000.