Fraud Suspect Poses Flight Risk: Judge

Sunita Buddhu has been ordered held in prison until her next court appearance.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Sunita Buddhu is in federal custody.

    A federal judge on Monday ordered a Wethersfield woman remain in federal custody until her next court appearance on mail fraud and conspiracy charges. 

    Prosecutors argued Sunita Buddhu, 42, posed a flight risk and a continuing economic danger to her community if released. 
     
    The NBC Connecticut Troubleshooters first reported on complaints filed in civil court against Buddhu's father, Deowraj, in May.
     
    Deowraj Buddhu, 69, and Sunita Buddhu were arrested by federal agents last week. 

    The federal complaint accuses the pair of running a debt elimination scheme that targets mostly non-English speaking customers by promising them access to a supposed secret stash of federal money.  Some customers wind up in foreclosure as a result and papers filed in civil court reveal there could be as many as 200 alleged victims.
     
    Sunita Buddhu notarizes many of her father's documents and invoices. Federal agents seized four computers and 25 boxes of potential evidence at the Buddhu home in Wethersfield June 11.
     
    Buddhu was scheduled to board a plane to Guyana hours after her father's arrest last week.  She later turned herself into federal agents. 
     
    Buddhu's attorney, Brian J. Woolf, argued during her detention hearing that Buddhu had formulated plans to visit Guyana long in advance of her arrest.
     
    Woolf said Buddhu was a clerical worker under her father's direction and that placing her in the same package as Deowraj is "ludicrous."
     
    "Under the influence of her father was more than she bargained for," Woolf said.
     
    Woolf also told the judge the risk would be minimal if Buddhu were to be granted home confinement.
     
    Judge Thomas Smith disagreed and said the evidence was "quite strong" against Buddhu.
     
    Many of Buddhu's family members were present in the courtroom during her detention hearing.  One family member sobbed as the judge ordered Buddhu detained.
     
    Buddhu faces a maximum of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, if convicted.
     
    Deowraj Buddhu has also been ordered detained until his next court appearance.