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Former New Jersey Marble Company Employee Pleads Guilty to $17 Million Bank Fraud

The elaborate scheme involved falsifying accounts receivable to secure and misuse a substantial line of credit.

In a significant legal development, Nitin Vats, a former employee of the defunct New Jersey-based company Lotus Exim International Inc. (LEI), has admitted to participating in a fraudulent scheme that resulted in a $17 million loss to a bank. This confession was made before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton, marking a pivotal moment in the investigation led by U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

From March 2016 through March 2018, Vats, alongside other LEI employees and its owner, orchestrated a deception to secure a line of credit from a victim bank. They falsely represented the health of the company’s finances, claiming that the credit was backed by substantial accounts receivable. However, these claims were grossly inflated or entirely fabricated, as LEI ultimately defaulted on the line of credit.

To maintain their deceit, Vats went as far as creating fake email addresses for LEI's customers. These addresses were used by other employees to pose as customers and respond to inquiries from the bank and outside auditors concerning the accounts receivable. This manipulation not only misled the bank about LEI's financial stability but also directly led to substantial financial loss.

The charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution carries severe penalties, including up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Vats is scheduled for sentencing on September 11, 2024.

This case underscores the critical nature of integrity in financial reporting and the severe consequences of defrauding financial institutions. The investigation, spearheaded by the FBI under the direction of Special Agent in Charge James E. Dennehy in Newark, highlights the persistent efforts of federal agencies to uncover and prosecute financial crimes. Assistant U.S. Attorney Sammi Malek of the U.S. Attorney’s Office National Security Unit in Newark represents the government in this proceeding.

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