हिमाली स्वरहरु – Nepali Scam Artist Who Defrauded Many Other Nepalis Arrested and Indicted in New York

Nepali Scam Artist Who Defrauded Many Other Nepalis Arrested and Indicted in New York

admin April 27, 2012 0

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Nepali Scam Artist Who Defrauded Many Other Nepalis Arrested and Indicted in New York

Woodside, NY – On April 25, 2012, Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., announced the arrest and indictment of Hit Shrestha, a 44-year old Nepali woman for systematically defrauding other Nepalis of thousands of dollars. She was charged with Grand Larceny in the Fourth Degree and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree for falsely promising her victims that she would arrange for their family members from Nepal to immigrate to the United States, and for charging her victims large fees for the promised service. She was also accused of using the alias of Nitu Rana, and falsely representing herself to be related to Dr. Arzu Rana Deuba, a well-known Nepalese public figure and wife of former Nepalese Prime Minister Sher Bahadur Deuba. She supposedly took hundreds of thousands of dollars from multiple victims for arranging air travel, travel documents, and immigration forms for her victims’ relatives.

Adhikaar has received numerous complaints from Nepali-speaking community members about being defrauded by other Nepalis, including Hit Shrestha, alias Nitu Rana, promising them jobs and immigration status for themselves and their family members. Often, these scam artists exploit the vulnerability of new immigrants and undocumented immigrants who have been separated from their family members for years, and threaten them with lawsuits and deportation if they complain.

“Adhikaar is committed to working hard to root out injustice. The arrest and indictment of Hit Shrestha brings us one step closer to justice,” says Senior Community Organizer, Narbada Chhetri. “I hope this serves as a warning to all scam artists who are defrauding hardworking people, and that no new immigrant is cheated by these unscrupulous people.”

Adhikaar is working with community leaders, media partners, elected officials, and other social justice organizations to raise awareness in the community and prevent scam artists from preying on vulnerable members of our community. “The problem of fraud in immigration services is occurring across immigrant communities,” says Valeria Treves, Executive Director of New Immigrant Community Empowerment (NICE). “Since 2010, we have worked to draw attention to the range of substandard, predatory and fraudulent services which target Latino immigrants in Queens and beyond. We have found out that many of these abuses are mirrored in other communities as well.” In addition to increasing access and information to our communities, Adhikaar looks forward to continue working with NICE and other partners to ensure that government agencies are accessible to immigrants and proactive in fighting these forms of fraud.

Adhikaar applauds the Immigrant Affairs Program team at the Manhattan District Attorney’s Office for working hard to ensure justice for new immigrants, and thanks everyone who assisted along the way. Adhikaar also urges anyone who may have been a victim of fraud to call Immigrant Affairs Program Hotline at 212-335-3600, regardless of their immigration status. Interpreters are provided for victims with limited English ability.
CONTACT:
Luna Ranjit, 718.937.117, luna@adhikaar.org

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