April 30, 2009

Albany Man Fabricated Terror Plots About C.U.

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A former Sienna College student has admitted he was lying when he told the FBI last year that a Cornell student was plotting terrorist attacks against the University and the country.
Manik Gupta, 22, of Albany, pled guilty in federal court on Monday to one count of making material false statements to the FBI.
According to prosecutors, Gupta sent a series of e-mails to the FBI in February 2008 in which he pretended to be a Cornell student and claimed that a fellow student was “dangerous” and a “threat to the nation.”
“Gupta falsely claimed in his e-mail messages that this other Cornell student was looking at websites that provided instructions as to how to make bombs, and that the student was making statements threatening violence against teachers,” the United States Attorney’s office said in a statement.
Prosecutors also said that Gupta informed the FBI that the Cornell student “repeatedly joked about acts of terrorism and talked about sending anthrax to the White House.”
Gupta targeted the Cornell student in his accusations of terrorism because the student was a romantic rival who had begun dating Gupta’s estranged girlfriend, the Associated Press reported.
Simeon Moss ’73, director of Cornell press relations, said that the Cornell Police were “fully involved” in the investigation of the case, which was a joint effort between the CUPD, FBI and United States Secret Service.
Both Moss and the prosecutor declined to disclose any information about the Cornell student who was the target of Gupta’s allegations.
Gupta is set to be sentenced in August and faces a maximum sentence of five years and a maximum fine of $250,000.