Indian behind $20mn fraud

Punjabi man uses Da Vinci Code to fleece Grammy winner

New York: The secret cult Opus Dei in Dan Brown's epic novel "The Da Vinci Code" was invoked by an Indian-origin computer repairman in the US to defraud a Latin Grammy-winning pianist and oil-family heir to the tune of $20 million.

Vickram Bedi, 36, and his girlfriend Helga Invarsdottir, 39, of small town of Chappaqua in New York State were arrested last week and have been charged with grand larceny for duping Grammy-winning pianist and jazz composer Roger Davidson.

Their scam began in 2004 when Davidson took his virus-infected laptop computer to Bedi's computer shop at Mount Kisco in Westchester County in New York State.

Soon Bedi and his girlfriend came to know that their high-profile client is actually the great grandson of the founder of Schlumberger oil company in Houston which reported revenue of $23 billion last year, the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday.

When Davidson asked Bedi to remove the virus from his laptop, the Indian American began the game of brainwashing by telling Davidson that his computer had actually been attacked with a virus so strong that it even damaged Bedi's Datalink's computers, the paper quoted the prosecutors as saying.

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