Couple accused of extorting millions in scam

November 17, 2010 8:22:36 AM PST
Police say what began as a visit to a Mount Kisco computer service shop evolved into a six-year long, multi-million dollar extortion scheme that finally ended last week with two arrests.

"We believe that 20 million dollars was taken from our victim by the two suspects," Harrison Police Chief Anthony Marraccini said.

Vickram Bedi, 36, and Helga Ingvarsdottir, 39, are charged with one count of grand larceny in the first degree.

Investigators say they convinced the victim, 58-year-old Roger Davidson, the founder of Soundbrush Records and reported heir to his family's oil and gas based fortune, that his computer had been hacked by foreign nationals and that his family was in danger.

"The victim was truly in fear of his family's safety. And because he had the means to do what he could to protect his family, that's what he did. He believed he was doing the right thing," Marraccini said.

Police say the suspects convinced the victim to pay for computer data retrieval and security as well as personal physical protection -- tens of thousands of dollars every month for six years.

"The charges made regularly to our victims' American Express card were quite significant, probably in excess of 160-thousand dollars a month," Marraccini said.

Among the items confiscated as part of the investigation: computers, files and cell phones as well as 150-thousand dollars in cash, reportedly found under Bedi's bed.

Marraccini said the alleged scheme was discovered during an investigation into a separate criminal complaint against the couple.

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