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Indian Immigrant Fraudster Jailed For Stealing $250,000 From Elderly Bank Customers

Vivek Vishisht claimed he  was trying to support impoverished relatives in India according to his defence lawyer. But the judge who sentenced Vishisht, 29, to six months in jail says the man’s purchase of an $84,000 luxury car suggests self-interest played a role. Vishisht also faces deportation after serving jail time and he has been ordered to pay back $250,000 to the bank.

TORONTO – An immigrant from India who worked as a bank teller Charlottetown defrauded customers of a quarter of a million dollars.

Vivek Vishisht claimed he  was trying to support impoverished relatives in India according to his defence lawyer.

But the judge who sentenced Vishisht, 29, to six months in jail says the man’s purchase of an $84,000 luxury car suggests self-interest played a role, too, reported CBC News.

“That’s double what I’ve ever paid for a car,” said Judge John Douglas as he handed down sentence Tuesday in Charlottetown Provincial Court. “So there’s clearly a personal gain factor.”

Vishisht, of Charlottetown, had pleaded guilty to fraud leading up to Tuesday’s sentencing.

According to a statement of agreed facts, Vishisht was employed at the Toronto-Dominion Bank on Queen Street in Charlottetown when he committed the crime.

In April, an elderly customer contacted the manager because he had not received his monthly statement. The manager reviewed the account and discovered $5,000 missing.

The bank conducted a forensic audit and discovered Vishisht had defrauded 16 customers over a three-month period. Twelve of the 16 victims were elderly customers, and four accounts belonged to the estates of people who had recently died.

Vishisht had also created two fake bank accounts from which he had drawn bank drafts payable to himself. In total, $251,535.80 was missing. The TD Bank reimbursed all customers.

The investigation revealed Vishisht used about a third of the money — $84,059.80 — to buy a 2018 Audi.

Much of the legal argument at Tuesday’s sentencing examined the possibility of Vishisht’s deportation from Canada. He arrived in Canada from India in 2010. He became a permanent resident after moving to P.E.I. in 2016.

Crown prosecutor Lisa Goulden recommended a sentence of 12 to 15 months in jail. Such a lengthy sentence would have resulted in Vishisht’s loss of the right to appeal any possible deportation order he might eventually face.

“A quarter-million dollars is large-scale fraud. Elderly clients were targeted … He’s not the only person who grew up poor. That’s no excuse,” Golden told court.

Judge John Douglas sentenced him to six months in jail followed by six months house arrest as part of two years on probation.

“Low sentences can cause the public to lose confidence in the justice system,” said Douglas. “But the immigration issues are of utmost concern in this case … It’s up to the [federal] Immigration Department to deport him or not.”

“I’m sorry for what I did and I’m ashamed,” said Vishisht, before sentence was handed down.

The judge has ordered Vishisht to repay the bank the quarter of a million dollars. The Audi will be sold at auction.

Courtesy CBC News

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