August 13, 2023
U.S. District Judge Mary S. Scriven has sentenced Raju Gandhi, of Lakeland, to 18 months in federal prison for conspiracy to defraud the U.S. Department of the Treasury, to commit wire fraud, and to submit false statements and reports to the U.S. Department of the Treasury.
The court also entered an order of forfeiture for more than $3.6 million, the estimated proceeds of this multi-pronged fraud conspiracy.
According to court documents, Gandhi owned and operated a money service and check cashing business in Polk County. Gandhi cashed large numbers of checks made payable to a number of shell construction companies which purported to supply construction services and labor for construction contractors and subcontractors.
In order to comply with Florida law, these shell construction companies were required to secure and maintain adequate worker’s compensation insurance coverage.