Not in Westchester County?
October 17, 2019Cart

Business

by Westchester County Business Journal
by WCBJ

Feds accuse Westchester couple in appliance warranty flimflam

A couple who seemingly owned a lot of broken appliances has been accused of scheming to cash in on warranties.

A criminal complaint unsealed Oct. 3 in U.S. District Court in White Plains charges Nadia Maqsood of Mount Vernon, and her fiancé, Azeem Arif of Yonkers, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and mail fraud.

The couple allegedly pocketed $68,000 by circumventing the warrantor.

Typically, when a customer reports a broken appliance, the warranty company dispatches a local repair service to determine what it will take to fix it.

If the fix is too costly or the appliance is beyond repair, the warrantor issues a check to the customer.

Maqsood and Arif are accused of tricking the warranty company about 50 times, from June 2018 to June 2019. The company is not identified in the complaint.

They bought warranties for numerous appliances, in their own names and in the names of two other individuals who are not identified but are described as Arif’s relatives.

Maqsood would call the warrantor about a broken appliance, and a service appointment would be scheduled. But Maqsood would cancel the appointment, according to an FBI agent’s complaint, and then call the warrantor posing as someone from the repair service.

She would tell the warrantor that the appliance had to be replaced, according to the complaint. The warrantor would write a check for the fair market value of the appliance and send it to Maqsood’s or Arif’s addresses in Mount Vernon and Yonkers or to an address in Tuckahoe.

Maqsood and Arif admitted receiving the warranty checks, according to the complaint.

Maqsood stopped filing warranty claims this past June, “when the company started raising questions about the claims she was making.”

Arif was arrested Oct. 2 and released the following day by U.S. Magistrate Judge Lisa M. Smith on a $50,000 personal recognizance bond. His lawyer, Kerry A. Lawrence of Calhoun & Lawrence of White Plains, declined to comment.

Maqsood retained White Plains attorney Benjamin R. Allee to represent her. Allee declined to comment.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Courtney L. Heavey is prosecuting the case.