CONCORD – Shiva Chandan Reddy Thudi, 26, of Irving, Texas was sentenced on Wednesday to 12 months and a day in federal prison for wire fraud, United States Attorney Scott W. Murray announced today.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Thudi attended college in New Hampshire from 2015 to 2017. During that time, he established relationships with and defrauded several individuals who were foreign citizens living in the United States. In essence, Thudi falsely told his victims he was seeking investors to share in the profits of business ventures that involved his producing and distributing films in the United States. In reality, Thudi was not a movie producer or distributor and, instead, he used his victim’s money for his own personal benefit. To keep the scheme going, Thudi engaged in a classic Ponzi scheme by using money paid by later victims to pay supposed “returns” on the “investment” made by earlier victims.
When interviewed by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Thudi admitted he stole substantial amounts of money from the victims by selling illusory ownership interests in several films to them. Additionally, he admitted that he used the victims’ money for his personal benefit and to make lulling payments to keep the scheme going. In total, Thudi stole more than $160,000 from his victims.
Thudi previously pleaded guilty on April 12, 2020. He faces likely removal to India after serving his prison sentence.
“Fraudsters who cultivate and then exploit relationships in order to steal money are criminals who must be held responsible for their conduct,” said U.S. Attorney Murray. “In order to protect victims from financial crimes, we work closely with the FBI and other law enforcement agencies to identify, prosecute, and incarcerate the white collar criminals who use lies and fraud to steal hard-earned money.”
“By playing the role of film producer, Shiva Chandan Reddy Thudi stole tens of thousands of dollars from starstruck victims he convinced had the inside track for investing in his movies, but our investigation into his Ponzi scheme exposed him for what he really is, a con artist,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “With today’s sentence, he’s being held accountable for their losses, and we’d like to take this opportunity to remind everyone that if an investment opportunity sounds too good to be true, it probably is. Thanks to Rivier University’s valuable assistance, the FBI has brought one more fraudster to justice.”
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Matthew T. Hunter and former Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert Kinsella.