Indian Americans get prison in fake heist

Indian Americans get prison in fake heist

The dealers, Atul Shah, 49, and Mahaveer Kankariya, 44, inspired by the 2001 Guy Ritchie film 'Snatch', hired men to dress up as Hasidic Jews and staged the robbery at their store.

The fake robbery was carried out to get their hands on USD 7 million of insurance money from Lloyd's of London. They were found guilty of seven counts of grand larceny, insurance fraud and other crimes.

After the jewellers made a USD 7 million insurance claim, insurers and authorities became suspicious as it emerged that the jeweller's businesses were in hundreds of thousands of dollars in debt.

They had poured drain cleaner down the surveillance camera in their Diamond District store in an attempt to cover up their scam.

The New York Post reported that with good behaviour, the duo could be out in one year.
The Post reported that Kankariya, two months ago, had made inquires about bribing the judge.

"It just rocks my world, for lack of a better word," Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Thomas Farber said of the bribe inquiries.

Judge Farber described how shocked he was that the defendant had considered bribing him.

"What I found so upsetting about the "Can I bribe the judge" comment was that these defendants came to this country because it was a country that allowed them to prosper at what they did," he said. "And even to think that having watched the way this trial was conducted, that anyone could bribe a judge, to me, is just very very upsetting," Farber said.

"Your honour, for the rest of my life I will carry the sin of this case," Shah sobbed.
"Every day for the rest of my life I will live with the fact that I have brought this sin and terrible hardship on my entire family," he cried.

Shah and Kankariya got caught because they failed to destroy surveillance footage that showed them emptying a safe before the fake robbers came on the scene.
The two men, now bankrupt, had poured drain cleaner over the tapes but some of it survived and it was very damaging for their case.

"My life, my family's life, everything is in your hands. My freedom is in your hands," Shah pleaded with the judge.

The heist was carried out in December 2008.It had a maximum sentence of 15 years.
But Ben Brafman, their lawyer, said this was crime made out of economic desperation.
"This was a crime of economic desperation that was undertaken out of desperation and stupidity,"  Brafman, told the judge, as quoted by The Post.

"I'm sentencing good people for doing a very bad thing," the judge said