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Suspect in telephone scam pleads guilty, agrees to leave US

December 8, 2021 GMT

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) — A Vermont resident who authorities say participated in an elaborate telephone scam that used emotional manipulation to bilk at least nine people out of about $300,000 has pleaded guilty in a Massachusetts courtroom and agreed to leave the country.

Parth “Peter” Chaudhari, 23, of Pownal, Vermont, pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday to larceny and attempted larceny charges, The Berkshire Eagle reported.

Under terms worked out by prosecutors and the defense, Chaudhari will be sentenced at a future date to the eight months he has already served awaiting trial, pay about $120,000 in restitution, and move back to his native India.

One victim said he was scammed by a person who told him his personal information had been stolen by someone who committed crimes in his name, and as a result, there were warrants out for his arrest. The caller asked for money to help him sort through the mess.

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Chaudhari and his alleged accomplices, who live in western Massachusetts and southern Vermont, targeted mostly seniors from as far away as California and Oklahoma, using fear and personal information to frighten them into sending cash to various addresses, mostly in the Berkshires, prosecutors said.