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I’ve been writing all day about Bollywood businessman Vijay K. Taneja and his nearly identical dream houses.

But who is Taneja? That’s a whole ‘nother story.

According to a January 2009 ABC News article, Taneja was a legit producer, who’d worked with real Bollywood stars: Arjun Rampal, Bobby Deol, Himesh Reshammiya and Malika Sherawat. He has two films under his belt:  “Humko Tumse Pyaar Hai” and “Aap Kaa Surroor: The Moviee – The Real Luv Story,” the later of which had a $16.5 million budget, ” very large by Bollywood standards.”

The Press Trust of India, an Indian news organization (naturally), reported at the time of Taneja’s sentencing that he was the son of a former Indian diplomat. He arrived in America when he was 10-years-old. Here’s more:

Taneja worked in various banks, later launching his own mortgage company. But his name to fame, which got him celebrity status among the Indian American community, was his mega shows, in which several Bollywood superstars staged performances.”

His mortgage fraud sounds like a poorly improvised ponzi scheme (this is from the ABC article):

Taneja’s defense lawyer, Robert Trout, said Taneja never intended to harm anyone and always intended to pay the money back. He called Taneja’s actions “a misguided effort for bridge financing.”

The scheme collapsed when “the balls could no longer be juggled,” Trout told the judge.

Image by tajai, Flickr Creative Commons