(STL.News) – A Tennessee man charged with two counts of wire fraud will make his initial appearance before a New Jersey judge today, U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito.
Ketan Ghutadaria, 50, of Johnson City, Tennessee, is charged by complaint with two counts of wire fraud and is scheduled to appear by videoconference before U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward S. Kiel. Ghutadaria was arrested in Tennessee on Aug. 13, 2020, by inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) and appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Cynthia Richardson Wyrick in Greenville, Tennessee, federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
From March 2018 through September 2018, Ghutadaria used a company’s bank account information to pay off his personal financial debts and without prior approval or authorization. Ghutadaria authorized companies to submit Automated Clearing House (ACH) debit transactions for bill payments, which were deducted from the victim company’s bank account in New York. During many of these transactions, Ghutadaria falsely represented that he was the authorized account holder for the victim company’s bank account. Ghutadaria used some of the fraudulently obtained funds to pay for a new 2017 Audi Q7 and a new 2017 Audi A6. Ghutadaria authorized 31 fraudulent ACH debit transactions utilizing the victim company’s bank account information.
The charge of wire fraud carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss from the offense, whichever is greater.
U.S. Attorney Carpenito credited postal inspectors from the USPIS, Newark Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge James Buthorn; postal inspectors from the USPIS – Knoxville Domicile, Atlanta Division, under the direction of Inspector in Charge Tommy Coke; the U.S. Marshals Service from the Eastern District of Tennessee, under the direction of U.S. Marshal David Jolley; and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office Special Investigations Unit, under the direction of Prosecutor Esther Suarez with the investigation leading to the charges.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cassye Cole of the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Criminal Division in Newark.
The charges and allegations in the complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.