A former marble and granite wholesaler from Tenafly admitted in federal court on Tuesday that he cooked the books, among other deceits, in a $17 million bank fraud.
Rajendra Kankariya, 61, pleaded guilty by videoconference via teleconference to his role in the scheme, during which the government said accomplices posed as customers to secure a $17 million line of credit that his company defaulted on.
Kankariya was president and part owner of Lotus Exim International Inc. (LEI), which fraudulently got the line of credit and then had it extended by fabricating or inflating many of the accounts receivable, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Without sufficient collateral, LEI employees “with the knowledge and approval of Kankariya, created fake email addresses on behalf of LEI’s customers so they could pose as those customers and answer the victim bank’s and outside auditor’s inquiries about the accounts receivable,” Carpenito said.
“The scheme involved numerous fraudulent accounts receivable where the outstanding balances were either inflated or entirely fabricated,” the U.S. attorney said. “The scheme caused the victim bank losses of approximately $17 million.”
U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton scheduled a Jan. 18 sentencing in federal court in Newark to Kankariya’s guilty plea to a single count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution.
Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI with the investigation that led to the plea, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sammi Malek of his National Security Unit in Newark.
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