Indian Immigrant Steals $10 Million From 9/11 Fund


Natarajan VenkataramThe headline said City worker jailed for stealing $10M from fund to identify 9/11 remains still holding on to cash,  By Tina Moore, New York Daily News,  September 4, 2011, and I thought that it was disgraceful, and somewhat typical of New York. A closer look at the story reminds me why it`s typical of New York–immigration.

“Ten years after the Sept. 11 attacks, ex-city worker Natarajan Venkataram says he’s sorry he stole millions of dollars meant for identifying the remains of trade center victims.

He’s just not sorry enough to turn over $400,000 sitting in his bank account in India.

The city has recovered $7 million of the $10 million he and an accomplice stole, but he went to court to hold onto this final portion of his ill-gotten gains.

In a phone interview from the federal prison camp at Fort Dix, N.J., Venkataram, 46, whined about jail conditions and apologized repeatedly for his crime.”

The point is that you`ll never see a headline that says “Indian Immigrant Jailed For Embezzlement” except, paradoxically in the Indian press–the same case was discussed in the Indus Business Journal online in 2008:

Indian jailed in WTC-related theft

Venkataram stole $9m from fund allocated for Sept. 11 victims

BY CHRIS NELSON

 August 1, 2008

NEW YORK – Natarajan R. Venkataram, an India native and former high-ranking employee in the New York City medical examiner`s office, has been sentenced to 15 years in federal prison for stealing nearly $9 million in government funds – most of which had been allocated to help the city identify victims of the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center.[More]