Phone scam suspect pleads guilty, agrees to leave US

PITTSFIELD, Mass. (AP) – A Vermont resident who authorities say participated in an elaborate phone scam that used emotional manipulation to deceive at least nine people out of around $ 300,000 has pleaded guilty in a Massachusetts courtroom and agreed to leave the country.

Parth “Peter” Chaudhari, 23, of Pownal, Vermont, pleaded guilty in Berkshire Superior Court on Tuesday to theft and attempted theft, The Berkshire Eagle reported.

Under terms established by prosecutors and the defense, Chaudhari will be sentenced at a later date to the eight months he has already served pending trial, pay around $ 120,000 in restitution and return to his native India.

Victim said she was scammed by someone who told her that her personal information had been stolen by someone who had committed crimes on her behalf, and as a result, arrest warrants were issued against him. The caller asked for money to help him sort out the mess.

Chaudhari and his alleged accomplices, who live in western Massachusetts and southern Vermont, have primarily targeted seniors from as far away as California and Oklahoma, using fear and personal information to scare them into sending them money to various addresses, mostly in the Berkshires, prosecutors said.

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