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Canadian Man Charged With Telemarketing Fraud and Witness Tampering, Reports U.S. Attorney

BOSTON, Nov. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- Two indictments were unsealed yesterday in federal court, charging a Montreal man in connection with his role in an extensive fraudulent telemarketing scheme and witness tampering.

United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan and Robin Avers, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement in New England, announced that David Chityal, age 27, of Montreal, Canada, was charged in two separate indictments with wire fraud, money laundering, and witness tampering. Chityal was arrested yesterday in Canada by members of the Canadian Royal Mounted Police and is being held in custody there pending a bail hearing. Chityal will undergo extradition proceedings before he appears in the United States on the charges.

The telemarketing indictment alleges that during the period of at least September, 2002 through October, 2003, Chityal, a citizen and resident of Canada, telephoned victims in the United States, including in Massachusetts, and falsely identified himself as a bank security officer or other member of law enforcement holding a large sum of money for their collection in Canada. Chityal informed his victims that, in order to collect the large sum of money, they first needed to prepay taxes or fees.

In fact, the victims were not entitled to collect any sums of money and the "taxes" or "fees" that they forwarded to Canada, at Chityal's direction, were used for the personal benefit of Chityal and others working with him, for purposes never disclosed to his victims.

In addition to his phoney telephone calls to victims in the United States, it is alleged that Chityal also caused his victims to receive fraudulent documents, purportedly authored by various bank officials, that appeared to substantiate his representations. It is alleged that in fact, the documents were phony and were designed to lull Chityal's victims into the belief that his representations were legitimate and they should wire additional funds to Canada at his direction.

In a separate indictment, unsealed yesterday, Chityal was also charged with witness tampering in connection with his efforts to arrange for the murder of a witness to the investigation of Chityal's telemarketing scheme, in order to prevent that individual's testimony before the grand jury.

If convicted on the wire fraud charges, Chityal faces up to 20 years' imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and a $250,000 fine. If convicted on the witness tampering charges, Chityal faces up to 10 years' imprisonment, and a $250,000 fine.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lori J. Holik in Sullivan's Economic Crimes Unit.

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