He was inspired by notorious conman "Natwarlal", who repeatedly sold the Taj Mahal and Red Fort, but this 21-year-old degree student could not hoodwink police for long like his mentor.
Ashis Tiwari, who hails from a middle-class family in Uttar Pradesh's Etawah, was arrested from Noida on March 1 for "fraudulently" withdrawing Rs 19 lakh from the account of Indraprastha Automobiles Pvt Ltd by posing as its director.
"He was not alone in this fraud. He is the member of a syndicate involved in encashing stolen cheques. The other members of the gang - Amit Chauhan, Sunny and Vikrant - are on the run," V Renganathan, deputy commissioner of police (west), said.
"Since childhood, he was inspired by the Hindi movie Mr Natwarlal, in which the hero becomes rich through cheating. He always tried to imbibe the character and after finishing his schooling came to Delhi," the deputy commissioner said.
Tiwari, who is pursuing a degree course from a prominent university in Delhi, also used Natwarlal as one of his aliases.
Originally called Mithilesh Kumar Srivastava (1912-2001), Natwarlal was wanted in around 100 cases and was sentenced to 113 years in prison for cheating cases like selling Taj Mahal, Red Fort, and Rashtrapati Bhavan.
His life formed the basis of the 1979 film Mr Natwarlal starring Amitabh Bachchan.
Tiwari's arrest came following investigations into a complaint filed by Seema Jha of Indraprastha Automobiles Pvt Ltd. The police received an input on March one that Tiwari would come to Noida Sector 18 and he was arrested there.