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WHITE PLAINS — A Chappaqua man accused of bilking a Katonah musician and oil company heir out of $20 million has been indicted on felony charges that could send him to prison for up to 25 years.
Vickram Bedi pleaded not guilty to first- and second-degree grand larceny after rejecting a plea deal in which he would have agreed to serve five to 15 years in state prison.
A grand jury indicted him on Nov. 29.
Westchester County Judge Barbara Zambelli today restored Bedi’s $3.5 million bail to $5 million after prosecutors detailed the complicated six-year scheme that Bedi allegedly used to fleece Roger Davidson, a pianist and composer.
Bedi and his girlfriend, Helga Ingvarsdottir, are accused of conning Davidson into believing he was in grave danger because his computer had been compromised and offered him protection. Davidson had taken his virus-plagued computer to Datalink Computer Services, owned by Bedi, in August 2004.
The schemes, prosecutors claim, included stories of threats by Polish priests affiliated with the Roman Catholic Opus Dei order. Bedi allegedly told Davidson that the Central Intelligence Agency had subcontracted with him to help prevent the Polish priests from infiltrating the U.S. government.
“There was no truth to this scheme,” Assistant District Attorney Steven Vandervelden said, noting that prosecutors have an audiotape of Bedi speaking with Davidson.
Vandervelden opposed a request by Bedi’s lawyer to lower bail to $1 million, describing Bedi as a “tremendous flight risk” who met with an Indian ambassador to learn how he could move to India permanently . Bedi is of Indian heritage.
Before Bedi’s arrest, Vandervelden said, he transferred $6 million out of his Citibank account and five properties in Mount Kisco to limited liability companies. He said the night that police arrested Bedi, he had his suitcases packed, including one containing $400,000.
Vandervelden said Bedi may use the proceeds from his real estate holdings to flee the jurisdiction if released. He said Bedi is still collecting rent from his tenants but has not paid taxes or insurance on them.
Article source: http://www.lohud.com/article/20111206/NEWS02/112060354
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