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Financial Crimes

Palm Beach father and son plead guilty in fraudulent Internet bank guarantee scheme

MIAMI - A father and his son pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court here today to charges related to a fraudulent Internet "bank guarantee" scheme following a joint investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Florida Office of Financial Regulation, and the Palm Beach Police Department.

According to the charging document, and as the defendants admitted at their pleas, Amal Rampadaruth, 42, and his father, Jadoomanee Rampadaruth, 66, ran a fraudulent scheme through two Florida corporations, Alps Resources Bankers, Inc. (ALPS) and Amalgamated Resources Holdings, Inc. (ARH.). The defendants offered what they claimed were various financial products, including alleged "bank guarantees," through ALPS and ARH. They claimed the alleged "bank guarantees," purportedly from foreign financial institutions, could be used by purchasers as collateral to obtain substantial loans from domestic financial institutions and as assurance to domestic lenders that any financing granted would be repaid if any default on such loans should occur. The defendants advertised their financial services through a website.

In July and August 2005, one victim of the defendants' fraud scheme wired $300,000 to Rampadaruths to purchase one of these "bank guarantees." The victim was attempting to obtain collateral for a substantial loan from a domestic lender in order to obtain financing for a multi-million dollar project. The defendants never delivered the alleged "bank guarantee," despite the fact the victim paid all the money requested. After repeated requests for a refund, the defendants have not refunded the money to the victim. Amal Rampadaruth pleaded guilty to the count charging a $250,000 wire he received.

The charging document also alleges that Jadoomanee Rampadaruth willfully filed a false 2006 tax return on which he failed to disclose that he was involved in the operation of ALPS and ARH, and on which he failed to report money received from the business.

In addition to the criminal charges, there is a forfeiture charge under which Amal Rampadaruth will forfeit $250,000 in criminal proceeds. The wire fraud count carries a statutory maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, supervised release of up to three years and restitution. The tax count carries a statutory maximum penalty of three years imprisonment, a $250,000 fine, supervised release of up to one year, and costs of prosecution.

The sentencing for both defendants is set for March 20, 2009, in West Palm Beach, Fla. The defendants remain detained pending sentencing.