Thursday, November 13, 2008

Mortgages, money laundering and Bollywood - the story of one local Indian businessman

He was an icon in the local Indian community, a flashy movie producer who invested millions in Bollywood films and brought Indian musical acts to the Washington area.

Vijay K. Taneja had an aura about him, a celebrity image that made people trust him, according to people who know the Fairfax County businessman. Problem was, Taneja admitted in federal court yesterday, his entertainment ventures were financed with money obtained through an extensive mortgage fraud scheme.


Prosecutors told the judge that Taneja invested millions of his mortgage proceeds in Indian films and theatrical productions through one of his companies, Elite Entertainment, and that they are still trying to untangle the financial web. "He has millions of dollars unaccounted for," Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephen Learned said as he asked Hilton to order Taneja to be electronically monitored to ensure that he doesn't flee before sentencing. "There's so much money, and it's difficult to figure out where it all went."

The entire story is here. It was hard to miss his presence - his Elite Entertainment posters advertising performances by major Bollywood stars (I remember one Asha Bhonsle concert at Constitution Hall) in the DC metro area and his flyers advertising his mortgage business occupied valuable real estate on the walls and windows of our local Indian grocery stores.


Altoid said...


I tell ya, this guy arranges so many desi shows in this area and all over the US. Dont know what to make of it...but it definitely gave me a jolt.

Sujatha Bagal said...

I wondered how it was possible to manage all the things he was doing. I guess I know now.

Unknown said...

that doesn't surprise me..