SOUTH BEND ― A former Elkhart police officer has been found guilty of three counts of wire fraud and will face sentencing Dec. 14 in U.S. District Court.
Junaid Gulzar, 32, of Goshen, was found guilty of the fraud charges last week in a jury trial presided over by District Court Judge Robert L. Miller, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Indiana.
Gulzar was accused of devising a scheme to defraud investors and obtain money through false pretenses by use of wire communications in interstate commerce. Gulzar had offered an investment opportunity in gas stations in Goshen and Plymouth promising a high rate of return with monthly payments, according to the release.
But no payments were made to the investors from the Goshen gas station investment, and the Plymouth gas station was never purchased.
Instead, some of the money wired to Gulzar by the investors was used for his own benefit at a casino.
A settlement was reached last year in a civil lawsuit filed by Ariana Small, a childhood friend of Gulzar’s who lives in New York. She accused Gulzar of fraud, saying the officer failed to pay back over $300,000 that Small and her family invested with his company.
Civil suit settled:Gulzar still on paid leave pending outcome of criminal investigation.
Gulzar, who joined the Elkhart police in April 2018, was placed on paid administrative leave on July 15, 2020, pending the outcome of the criminal investigation unrelated to his employment with the city, said Jessica McBrier, the department’s public information officer.
More:Elkhart officers face discipline over ethics breach.
In a March 16, 2022, Police Chief Kris Seymore requested that the Board of Safety change Gulzar’s administrative leave to that of unpaid administrative leave, per the contract, because of his indictment on federal charges, McBrier added.
And on June 27, Gulzar submitted his letter of resignation.
This case was handled by the Federal Bureau of Investigation with the assistance of the Indiana State Police. This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Jerome W. McKeever and Joel Gabrielse.