WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. – Chappaqua resident Vickram Bedi pleaded guilty to felony grand larceny Wednesday for his role in attempting to defraud a Katonah oil company heir of more than $20 million.
Bedi, 38, and his Mount Kisco-based business, Datalink Computer Products, Inc., were charged with aiding, abetting and acting in concert to steal money from Roger Davidson, an heir to the Schlumberger fortune. Schlumberger Oilfield Services is a global supplier of oil exploration and production services.
Davidson, a composer and pianist, went to Bedi in August 2004 over concerns that he would lose his life’s work of music compositions when his computer developed a virus, according to a release from the Westchester County District Attorney's office.
Bedi confirmed to Davidson that his computer had a virus, that it was specifically targeted at Davidson and that his family was in grave danger, the release said. Davidson was told by Bedi that he was being tracked by the CIA and that Polish priests associated with Opus Dei wanted to harm him.
Bedi convinced Davidson to begin payments on computer data retrieval and security, as well as personal physical protection, according to the release. Over the next six years, Bedi charged $9 million to Davidson’s American Express account.
“This defendant, over a six-year period, preyed upon, schemed and manipulated his victim in ways that epitomize a cold, calculating con man,” District Attorney Janet DiFiore said after Bedi pleaded guilty. “The systematic method with which the defendant continued the larceny over a period of years, along with the sizable amount of money that was stolen, was nothing short of Machiavellian.”
With assistance from the New Castle and Mount Kisco police departments, Harrison police arrested Bedi and his girlfriend, Helga Invarsdottir, 40, in November 2010 at their Oak Road home as they were allegedly preparing to leave the country. Invarsdottir, who worked with Bedi at Datalink, pleaded guilty to first-degree and second-degree grand larceny on Dec. 14, 2010. She will be sentenced Jan. 29.
Bedi will be sentenced Jan. 22. Bedi faces a maximum of 8 ⅓ to 25 years in state prison.