Days after a 23-year-old man from Udaipur in Rajasthan was arrested for allegedly duping at least 20 employers of lakhs of rupees, the accused’s 47-year-old father was also arrested on Saturday for his involvement in eight more cases with similar modus operandi. The accused had claimed that he was inspired by the character of conman Frank Abagnale shown in Steven Spielberg’s film ‘Catch me if you can’.
According to police, Ramesh Soni alias Prakash Parekh, (43), father of Jai alias Jayesh Soni(23), resident of Udaipur, was held on Saturday by Narol police. Earlier, Jayesh Soni was also held by the Ahmedabad Detection of Crime Branch for his involvement in 20 cases of fraud in Ahmedabad, Vadodara and Udaipur in the past five years.
According to police, the father-son duo was inspired by the Hollywood film ‘Catch me if you can’ in which the central character used different identities to commit fraud and evade arrest.
Ramesh Soni impersonated as his son Jayesh and allegedly duped an Ahmedabad-based businessman.
“Ramesh Soni impersonated himself as Jayesh Jain and started working as an assistant accountant at a company in Vadodara which belonged to an Ahmedabad-based businessman. He then stole a cheque from the cheque book of his employer and made a fake stamp on it to get it cleared in his name for an amount of Rs 14.78 lakhs. We arrested him on Saturday and based on our probe, his involvement has come out in seven more cases with the same modus operandi. Both father and son operated in different cities as conmen,” said a police officer at Narol police station.
According to police, the accused father and son are proficient in English, Hindi and Gujarati. In 2015, they watched the film ‘Catch me if you can’ and got an idea from it where they learned account auditing, tally software and excel sheet work from YouTube. Then the accused allegedly used MS Paint software to create multiple fake IDs of their own Aadhaar and PAN cards. Using the fake IDs they created several bank accounts in Udaipur, Vadodara and Ahmedabad and got SIM cards under fake names as well. Police further stated that after creating fake IDs, the accused then started contacting companies in different cities for job vacancies. The modus operandi followed by the two accused was very similar to that of US conman Frank Abagnale as shown in the film.
According to police, Ramesh Soni has committed frauds in Ahmedabad (4), Vadodara (1) and Jaipur (3) from 2015 till now.
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