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NRI, Natarajan R Venkataram bailed on a $1million,
secured by $400,000 in cash

New York, December 29, 2005
Harish Chandar

NRI Venkataram was released on a $1million bail secured by $400,000 in cash by Judge Andrew Peck. He is confined with electronic monitoring to the home of a co-signer, and as per bail terms will be permitted to leave the house only to attend court proceedings. Judge Andrew Peck first denied bail to Abreu, a Dominican native but later granted bail at $400,000.

US Attorney's office filed charges against him and a colleague for allegedly siphoning of more than $10 million allotted by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The prosecution said, Venkataram transferred $5.5 million from those funds to bank accounts in India. OCME obtained millions of dollars from FEMA that were specifically earmarked for the purchase of computer hardware, software applications and support services.

OCME's employee who first reported the scam to Stephan Zander, Deputy Inspector General for the Department of Investigation at the NYC Department of Health and Mental Hygiene in 2004. Department of Investigation at the NYC found:

  • CCR issued checks totaling more than $90,000 to Infodata Associates Corporation. President of the company was Gisela Abreu, Rosa Brieu's aunt.
  • CCR, HS Group, and Infotech issued checksmore than $575,000 to A&D Marketing Corporation.
  • More than $500,000 was paid Trade A2Z. The address of this company was Venkataram's home.
  • Venkataram floated other companies to show competitive bid to make it appear that there was a competitive bid.

The majority of the money made by did little or no work and were sometimes controlled by the defendants, prosecution said.

Two NRI arrested for $5.5 million fraud of Sept. 11 victims funds

New York, December 10, 2005
Harish Chandar

NRI, non-resident Indian, Natarajan R. Venkataram, 41, and Rosa Abreu, 38, were arrested for stealing $5.5 million of dollars intended to help identify victims of of Sep. 11 attack of World Trade Center. They transferred these funds to their bank accounts in India.

An official contract worth $11.4 million had been given to help the medical examiner to buy computer hardware, software and support services to identify victims and the dead people. Venkataram and Rosa Abreu, both were administrators in the medical examiner's office and misused their power to steal the funds

Prosecutors claimed the Natarajan R. Venkataram, 41, and Rosa Abreu had diverted millions of dollars to companies, some controlled by them or their associates, which never work or did small jobs.

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