first_imgU.S. federal agents have filed an extradition request for a former professor from India, who is accused of falsifying documents, and committing immigration fraud, among other charges, Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported.Anoop Shankar, a former West Virginia University and Virginia Commonwealth University medical professor, allegedly provided false information to immigration authorities, forged signatures of professors in fake recommendation letters, used fake credentials to claim the university job, and misused his university purchasing card.Shankar taught at WVU from 2008 to 2014, and left the school to travel to Virginia Commonwealth. Though fraud charges were filed against him by federal prosecutors in West Virginia in 2015, he did not return to the country, the report said, adding that the case remains under seal.The whereabouts of the former professor remain unknown. Federal agents believe that he left the United States in 2014 and started living in the United Arab Emirates, while interpol recently said that he traveled to India, the publication reported, citing an extradition affidavit.The investigation began in 2015 when Homeland Security Investigations Pittsburgh and authorities in West Virginia initiated investigations against him on suspicion of defrauding WVU of about $617,000 in salary paid to him. They also started probing the accusations of purchasing fraud through submission of false travel expenses, and the use of forged letters of professors in America and abroad submitted by him. He allegedly submitted false expenses of travels, took false ownership of various medical articles, and lied about his medical degrees.The detectives said that Shankar lied about possessing a doctorate degree in epidemiology and medical statistics from Mahatma Gandhi University and that he had undertaken medical residency at the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, the publication reported.He made false claims about owning memberships in several top organizations, and authorship of various medical articles.Shankar was living in Singapore when he applied at WVU in 2007 , according to the report.Before 2015, the university had no knowledge of his alleged fake credentials, and filed a petition for a non-immigrant worker on his behalf with the U.S. immigration authorities. In 2010, another form was issued by the institution in an appeal to make him a permanent resident, which was backed by various recommendation letters of professors, later found to be fake.Shankar’s alleged lies were discovered in 2012 while considering him for a newly created epidemiology position, the report said, adding that the fake documents and publications were discovered by Ian R.H. Rockett, a WVU professor and chair of the promotion and tenure committee.In March 2014, the professor left for a new position in Virginia Commonwealth by using some of the fake credentials that he used for WVU.“It is believed that Shankar departed based upon the pending investigation of his credentials,” wrote Scott Fell, an HSI agent, Pittsburgh Post Gazette said. Related ItemsUnited Statesvirginialast_img read more

first_imgTwo New York-based men have been convicted for defrauding Mumbai diamond merchants of more than $12 million in loose diamonds.Sholom Muratov, 36 and Menachem Abramov, 32, were convicted on Oct. 24 after a seven day trial in a Manhattan Federal Court on charges of conspiring to defraud diamond sellers.According to an official statement, ten other defendants have reportedly pleaded guilty in connection with this scam.United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York Geoffrey S. Berman said, “These defendants engaged in a brazen, multimillion-dollar fraud scheme extending from New York to Mumbai.”Further, Muratov and Abramov have been found guilty of conspiring to commit mail fraud which carries a maximum jail sentence of up to 20 years. Muratov will be sentenced on Mar. 26, 2019, and Abramov will be sentenced two days later by Judge Lorna G. Schofield, who presided over the trial.The statement reveals that the duo was a part of a well-coordinated and wide-ranging conspiracy to con a group of diamond wholesalers in Mumbai out of millions of dollars in loose diamonds known as “melee” diamonds. The sham included several false representations of numbers to the victim merchants.They deceived the victims by showing their corporate affiliations, longevity, and track records of those corporations. They also deceived the Indian merchants by convincing that the defendants were not affiliated with one another, and most significantly they implied to agree to payment terms proposed by the Indian merchants to induce them to release diamonds without having received full payment.By these successful fraudulent misrepresentations, the defendants managed to convince the Indian merchants to provide them loose diamonds worth over $12 million, for which Muratov, Abramov, and their co-conspirators provided no payment.  These diamonds were later sold in Manhattan’s Diamond District.In May, two Indian-origin men were among three men charged in the U.S. for allegedly orchestrating a huge multi-million dollar investment scam. The three were accused of defrauding investors to the tune of $300 million in connection with funding of a merger transaction designed to convert their company into a private entity. Earlier this year, New York-based Anilesh Ahuja who served as the founder, CEO, and Chief Investment Officer of Premium Point Investments LLP, that looked into hedge funds focused on structured credits products, was arrested based on his alleged “participation in securities fraud and wire fraud which related to mismarking of certain securities held in hedge funds that the firm looked into, thereby fraudulently inflating the net asset value of those funds as reported to investors and potential investors from 2014 to 2016.” Related Itemslast_img read more

first_imgCasey Ketchum of Anchorage (Photo courtesy of Casey Ketchum)This week we’re hearing from Casey Ketchum in Anchorage. Ketchum is the head cook at City Diner. This weekend he’ll defend his 1st place title at Anchorage’s Beer and Bacon Festival.Listen nowKETCHUM: There is kind of a quintessential Alaska personality. I think it’s part of… we have so much space up here, we’re allowed to develop our personalities bigger than they get a lot of other states. Especially when you’re born up here. You’re used to the freedom of having the room to run and scream and grow.But when you’re a kid, it’s great. A lot of outdoors, fun things to do. Camping and fishing and hunting and all that good stuff. As a teenager, it’s a little more stifling. Not having the ability to hop in yur car and drive to a different state. I think that’s why a lot of teenagers up here start getting out of the state as soon as they’re able. That’s what I did. I traveled around a little bit, but come back cause it’s home. You know, you get used to it.I’ve been at City Diner about almost seven years. Got a job — you know, I started applying to a bunch of restaurants ’cause I wanted experience — and they got me a job working on the fryer, and I kept doing apparently good enough for them to keep giving me job opportunities and here I am, now general manager and head chef.Chef Al Levinsohn, who’s one of the partners in ownership of the diner contacted me and said, “Casey! We’re doing this Beer and Bacon Festival.” We did it and we were lucky enough, or good enough depending on how you look at it, to win. It (was) a BLT soup is what we called it. Bunch of ingredients obviosuly: bacon tomatoes and stuff like that. But what really tips it off, and I don’t know if I’m going to get in trouble for telling you, but red peppers, and then at the end when it’s boiling hot, you throw in chopped lettuce. And the lettuce, the flavor of the lettuce, will actually absorb into the soup, and so it actually tastes like a BLT sandwich.Upping the ante is tough. It’s such a killer soup. It’s really hard to go one step above. I’m trying to do something savory. I call them a PBBJ: a pimento butter and bacon jam little crostinis. It’ll be kinda interesting. I’ve been playing around with it for about two months so…last_img read more