A Wethersfield businessman is found guilty of fraud in federal court.
Deowraj Buddhu's federal trial lasted ten days, but it took a jury less than one hour to convict him of six counts of mail fraud and seven counts of issuing, selling and passing fictitious financial instruments.
The Wethersfield business owner, 70, faces up to 30 years in prison.
The jury agreed with what prosecutors said in their opening and closing arguments, that Buddhu is a "con man."
Court documents reveal Buddhu's scheme targeted struggling homeowners. Many of them were non-English speakers. Buddhu charged his clients for access to a supposed secret stash of federal money. No such fund exists, according to the federal government.
Prosecutors said because Buddhu had told customers to stop paying their bills and mortgages, many wound up in foreclosure.
Buddhu represented himself during his trial.
“I went into the business only to help individuals get out of debt,” Buddhu said during his closing argument. “My ignorance is what I’m guilty of.”
Buddhu's daughter, Sunita, notarized many of her father's documents. She pleaded guilty to issuing, selling and passing fictitious financial instruments.
Buddhu's standby attorney said the case was too complex for someone without access to a law library to defend himself. However, Buddhu plans to appeal. His sentencing is scheduled for September 17.