NORTH ADAMS — Two men accused in a nationwide phone scam that netted $300,000 in cash will face hearings late next month in Berkshire Superior Court.

In a pretrial hearing Friday in Northern Berkshire District Court, Judge Paul Vrabel set the hearings for Parth Chaudhari and Ajaykumar Chaudhari for Aug. 28.

The hearing date for Jitendra Chaudhari, a third defendant, will be set Monday.

Parth "Peter" Chaudhari, 23, of Pownal, Vt., has hired attorney Elizabeth Quigley. The court has appointed Glenn Keiderling to represent Ajaykumar Chaudhari, 24, also of Pownal.

Jitendra Chaudhari, 27, of Williamstown, is the cousin of Ajaykumar Chaudhari, according to court records.

All three pleaded not guilty last month when arraigned on larceny and conspiracy charges. They are being held at the Berkshire County Jail and House of Correction in Pittsfield, each on $100,000 bail.

The men are accused of participating in a scheme that hooked in nine people in seven states. Victims sent tens of thousands in cash at a time to several locations in the Berkshires.

The victims were duped by callers posing as federal agents who convinced them that they were in trouble and that sending cash via FedEx was the only way to clean up the mess, according to court documents.

Most of the victims were older people, but one was 29. One 34-year-old woman who realized that she had been scammed drove through the night to Pittsfield to intercept her package of money. A substantial amount of the cash has been returned to the victims, according to the Berkshire District Attorney's Office.

Court documents suggest that the plot might have foreign ties, with cash sent overseas.

Investigators linked the alleged fraud to an apartment above a smoke shop on Columbia Avenue in Adams, as well as to the Racing Mart down the street. But, the owner of Racing Mart says he had leased it to the uncle of one of the men, and broke the lease soon after the men were charged.

Parth Chaudhari had managed the Racing Mart for his uncle, according to owner Pierre Kareh, who said he canceled the lease. The business, he said, began to lose money after residents began a social media campaign to boycott the store, in the wake of news reports of the alleged connection to the phone scam.

Kareh says he still is trying to clear up the confusion posed by the link.

All three men are charged with larceny from a person over 65, conspiracy, and larceny over $1,200 by false pretense.

Heather Bellow can be reached at or on Twitter @BE_hbellow and 413-329-6871.