HADLEY, Mass. (WWLP) – A New Jersey man was arrested in Hadley after an alleged scam where a victim was told to give the suspect $330,000 worth of gold bars.
According to Hadley police, 38-year-old Gaurang Contractor of New Jersey was arrested Monday after an investigation into a report of an Athol resident being a victim of a scam. The scam involved someone claiming to be a government official investigating an identity fraud ring and told the victim they were suspected of fraud. In order to “avoid prosecution,” the victim was asked to purchase $330,000 in gold bars from Hannoush Jewelers in Hadley and meet with an alleged court officer.
On August 8, an operation ran by detectives led Contractor to believe that he would be provided the gold and that it would be left in a car at Texas Roadhouse in Hadley. A black BMW was identified as surveying the area and was following the undercover vehicle that was being used as the victim’s vehicle. Once the car was parked in the parking lot, the suspect entered the victim’s car, obtained two containers of fake gold and then attempted to leave the area.
Officers boxed in his vehicle are arrested Contractor. He was arraigned Tuesday in Eastern Hampshire District Court and pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted larceny from a person over 60 and breaking and entering into a motor vehicle with intent to commit a felony. He is being held on $20,000 bail. Contractor is scheduled for a pretrial conference on August 31.
The Hadley Police Department, Northampton Police Department, FBI, and Hampshire/Franklin County Anti-Crime Task Force were involved in the operation.