Loudoun Co. man charged in yearslong $20 million investment scam

Prosecutors announced the indictment of an Aldie, Virginia, man for his alleged part in a multiyear lending scam that defrauded dozens of investors in Maryland, Virginia and other jurisdictions.

A federal grand jury indicted 46-year-old Babu Ramaraj on charges of wire fraud and unlawful monetary transactions in late June, according to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.

Ramaraj and his wife own DAB Inspection and Consulting Services, a home contractor that does patio and deck projects, according to court documents.

Ramaraj allegedly told investors that the small, modestly performing business nabbed profitable contracts with government agencies including the Federal Aviation Administration, Virginia Department of Transportation and more.

He also reportedly told investors his business was, “a joint venture partner on a Washington DC Water Clean Rivers Project” that collectively netted “tens of millions of dollars each” for “engineering inspection work on huge infrastructure projects.”

Officials argued that Ramaraj claimed a large upfront bond payment was necessary to secure these jobs, but the business was not able to obtain bank financing because DAB was too new and needed money faster than a bank could feasibly provide.

From January 2020 to May 2024, Ramaraj reportedly pitched loans to investors, “including members of his Loudoun County cricket league,” at a high interest rate.

“Using money from later investors, Ramaraj allegedly paid initial investors the promised returns to entice them to continue investing and to recruit other friends and family to invest,” the news release stated.

To convince investors that his scam was real, Ramaraj allegedly supplied falsified contract award letters, invoices, DAB financial records and more.

Once he got the money, prosecutors argue that he went on a spending spree of sorts.

Instead of paying for the bonds as promised, Ramaraj allegedly moved the money into brokerage accounts that belonged to him and his wife so they could “engage in securities trades.”

Prosecutors said that DAB garnered “more than $20 million in aggregate” utilizing this tactic, wiring over $1 million to accounts in India under his wife’s name. The indictment also claims Ramaraj used money to purchase several automobiles, obtain real properties and make other payments to fund his lifestyle.

“If convicted, Ramaraj faces up to 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and up to 10 years in prison for each count of unlawful monetary transactions,” the Justice Department stated.

The charges follow federal complaints filed against Ramaraj by residents in North Carolina and Georgia. North Carolina complainants accused him of scamming them out of approximately $400,000 from July 2022 to July 2023, while Georgia residents accused Ramaraj of tricking them out of $200,000.

Ramaraj is set to appear in federal court for his arraignment on July 12.

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Ivy Lyons

Ivy Lyons is a digital journalist for WTOP.com. Since 2018, they have worked on Capitol Hill, at NBC News in Washington, and with WJLA in Washington.

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