Here's a roundup of alleged cons, frauds and schemes to watch out for.
Indian community targeted
A Tustin man has been sentenced to nearly six years in federal prison for running a Ponzi scheme that targeted members of the Indian community in Orange County and across the U.S. Victims who invested with Tarakeswar Chaudhary lost about $9 million, the U.S. attorney's office said. Chaudhary, 49, who operated Transpacific Intertrade Inc., told victims he could produce significant, risk-free returns because he had relationships with Wall Street firms that gave him access to stock offerings below market price. Neither the relationships nor the stock offerings existed, prosecutors alleged. Chaudhary, who operated the scheme in the second half of 2009, pleaded guilty in March to wire fraud. U.S. District Judge James V. Selna imposed the sentence Aug. 30.
Scam from a jail cell
Willoughby Farr went to Palm Beach County Jail in Florida in 2003 and came out a multimillionaire. He was sentenced Sept. 2 to 21 years in prison for running a $35-million telephone billing scam from behind bars from 2003 to 2005. According to federal prosecutors, Farr operated three Florida companies that billed telephone customers for non-existent collect calls. Because he was in jail, Farr, 46, ran the operations "largely through instructions he gave to other people," according to the indictment. Farr pleaded guilty in May to two counts of mail fraud.