Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Computer Virus Leads to $20 Million Scam Targeting Pianist Composer

A noted classical pianist, composer and Latin music producer found himself drawn into an elaborate years-long extortion scheme that cost him between $6 and $20 million after he brought his laptop into a computer repairman to help rid it of a virus.

The alleged fraudsters, a computer repairman and his girlfriend in suburban New York, convinced the wealthy 58-year-old that he was the victim of an especially sophisticated piece of malware controlled by a devious group in Honduras, and that he and his family were also targeted for harm by a group pf Polish priests out to topple the U.S. government. The scam was reported in a statement released by the Westchester County District Attorney’s office on Monday and in a New York Times story.

The complex scam continued for six years before the two suspects, who claimed to be working with the CIA to thwart the Polish priests, were arrested as they prepared to leave on a trip to Iceland.

It began in 2004 when composer Roger Davidson brought his troubled laptop to Datalink Computer Products, a shop in the affluent town of Mount Kisko, New York, run by Vickram Bedi, 36, and his Icelandic girlfriend Helga Invarsdottir, 39. Davidson suspected his computer was infected with a virus and was concerned that music compositions he stored on the computer would be destroyed.

Once Bedi and Invarsdottir realized the extent of Davidson’s wealth, they began to hatch an elaborate scheme alleging various security threats against not only Davidson and his family but the U.S. government, the district attorney’s office says. Davidson, who produced the Grammy-winning album Te Amo Tango for musician Raul Jaurena, is also heir to the Schlumberger oil fortune as a descendant of two brothers who launched the multinational oilfield services company. ...

via Computer Virus Leads to $20 Million Scam Targeting Pianist Composer | Threat Level | Wired.com.

No comments: