A man was sentenced Monday to 24 months in custody for defrauding international surrogacy clients in a racketeering scheme.
Acharyya Rupak, also known as "Rudy," was also ordered to pay a $10,000 fine by U.S. District Court Judge Cynthia A. Bashant.
Rupak was the founder and operator of Planet Hospital (PH), which has offices in San Diego, Calexico, and Calabasas, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
The hospital, founded in 2003, provided several medical treatments to foreign patients, including organ transplants, cosmetic surgery, and surrogacy services.
According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Rupak told PH employees to solicit services to international clients and falsely represent that the money they gave would be "set aside" for them.
Rupak also told a PH employee to represent San Diego-based surrogacy egg donation business, My Donor Cycle, without the knowledge of the company. After PH clients wire-transferred $24,000 into a bank account, Rupak combined the money with funds from other clients. He then used that money to pay for services at My Donor Cycle that had already been provided to prior PH clients.
At one point, Rupak also made a fake website and email account to trick clients into believing his reasons for why their services were not being provided.
Rupak also used a fake name for potential employers to hide his identity, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
"The defendant betrayed the trust placed in him by people desperate to have a child. By preying on their vulnerable emotions, he was able to extract more money on the false promise that he was doing everything possible to help them obtain a baby. To use the dream of parenthood as leverage for obtaining fraudulent proceeds is intolerable and heartbreaking," said acting U.S. Attorney Alana W. Robinson in a statement.
Rupak admitted to defrauding clients of nearly $247, 620. The total amount of losses will be determined at a restitution hearing on Sept. 13.