Update (12:45 p.m.): This story has been updated to include more information from accusatory instruments provided by the Ithaca City Court regarding the charges against Kirtania.

ITHACA, N.Y.—Over the weekend, Ithaca police arrested and charged a local man on theft charges related to an allegedly wide-ranging internet scamming scheme.

Sgt. Kevin Slattery stated that police arrested Ankit “Neal” Kirtania, 29 years old, on May 19 on Thurston Avenue in Ithaca.

“The investigation was centered around internet scams which victimized numerous people including elderly and vulnerable citizens across the country,” according to Slattery. “Kirtania is responsible for scamming over $100,000, and it is suspected more will be uncovered as the investigation continues.”

According to the accusatory instruments filed with the Ithaca City Court, Kirtania is accused of receiving a bank transfer to his account at Key Bank from a person for $100,000 “through a fraudulent internet scam.” The document states that Kirtania “did attempt to gain access to said stolen funds on April 12, 2023, where Key Bank then refused to release said currency.”

Kirtania was charged with second-degree grand larceny, though Slattery’s release seems to signal that more charges will likely be filed.

Slattery added that the investigation was a joint effort by IPD, Cornell police, Collier County Sheriff’s Office (in Florida) and the FBI, indicating the wide scope of the crime.

Kirtania is listed as a graduate researcher at Cornell University on a social media page, and Cornell Media Relations’ Rebecca Valli confirmed that Kirtania is a graduate student at the school.

He was arraigned and released on his own recognizance.

Matt Butler

Matt Butler is the Editor in Chief at The Ithaca Voice. He can be reached by email at mbutler@ithacavoice.org.