accused fraudster Hargobind Tahilramanidubbed “Hollywood’s scam queen” after allegedly impersonating movie executives in a vast fraud regime, can be extradited to face charges in the United States, a British judge ruled on Tuesday morning.
The 43-year-old is accused of defrauding more than 300 victims, including actors and screenwriters, of more than $1 million during a multi-year scheme.
Authorities arrested Tahilramani at the end of November 2020 in Manchester, northern England. Since then, he has been held in a London prison. He is accused of impersonating several Hollywood personalities, including producer Megan Ellison and executive Amy Pascal in phone calls, emails and text messages. Prosecutors say Tahilramani, an Indonesian native, would convince American industry professionals to travel to Indonesia at their own expense for non-existent projects before charging them a series of fees and expenses, which were never reimbursed.
Tahilramani’s lawyers have already tried to prevent potential extradition to the United States, where he faces eight charges, including conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud – each facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison – and five counts of aggravated identity. flight, all of which have a duration of two years each.
In a legal document submitted to a London court in September, Tahilramani’s legal team argued that the poor conditions of US prisons, along with their client’s unstable mental health and the bulk of his alleged crimes taking place in United Kingdom, are factors for which he should not be extradited.
Last year, Joel Smith, representing the United States, said Tahilramani was the “mastermind” behind the sweeping agenda. Smith said once the victims arrived in Indonesia, they would be asked to pay a host of fees that would be reimbursed upon their return to the United States.
“The monies spent by the victim were received by the defendant himself and were never reimbursed,” Smith said. “At its heart, this is an old-fashioned advance fee fraud.”