15 people, five Indian BPOs, indicted in massive US call center scam

No less than 15 people, including seven Indians, and five India-based call centers have been indicted in a multi-million dollar scam that defrauded more than 2,000 US citizens, resulting in losses of more than 5.5 million dollars, the Justice Department said on Friday.

The scam involved call center operators calling potential victims while posing as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) officials or people offering payday loans, US Attorney Byung J said. Pak.

They later threatened the victims with arrest, imprisonment or fines for not paying taxes or penalties to the government, the Justice Department said in a statement.

In connection with the scheme, seven individuals were arrested Thursday in the United States.

Seven co-conspirators and five Ahmedabad-based call centers have also been indicted for their alleged involvement.

The indictment alleges that the defendants were involved in a sophisticated scheme organized by co-conspirators in India, including a network of call centers in Ahmedabad.

“The IRS and telephone payday loan programs seek to profit by exploiting US citizens, including the most vulnerable members of our community,” the US attorney said.

“This indictment and yesterday’s arrests demonstrate our commitment to identify and prosecute those behind these types of phone scams,” Pak said.

This indictment makes it clear that the IRS impersonation scam has reached a new level, with indictments against five call centers and seven co-conspirators in India who allegedly requested their employees to participate in the scam, said J Russell George, Inspector General of the Treasury for Taxes. Administration.

“I would like to congratulate my investigative team, who worked long hours to unravel the complex web of financial transactions that the defendants allegedly carried out as part of a transnational conspiracy to extort taxpayer money and cover up and disguise the proceeds of their illegal activities. ”

Between 2012 and 2016, the defendants carried out a complex fraud and money laundering scheme in which individuals from call centers located in Ahmedabad frequently impersonated officials from the IRS or the US citizenship service. and Immigration (USCIS) in a ruse designed to defraud victims located all over America.

Indian call centers have used various phone fraud schemes to primarily defraud vulnerable Americans, including the elderly and legal immigrants.

Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators allegedly called potential victims while posing as IRS officials or people offering loans on fictitious wages.

Call center operators would then threaten potential victims with arrest, imprisonment or fines if they did not pay taxes or penalties to the government, according to the indictment.

If the victims agreed to pay, call centers would immediately have turned to a network of US-based co-conspirators to liquidate and launder the funds extorted by purchasing prepaid debit cards or wire transfers, including through MoneyGram and Western Union, to the attention of fictitious names and US-based defendants and their co-conspirators, he said.

The five India-based call centers that have been indicted are Excellent Solutions BPO, ADN Infotech Pvt Ltd, Infoace BPO Solutions Pvt Ltd, Adore Infosource, Inc and Zurik BPO Services Pvt Ltd.

The 15 people charged are Shylesh Kumar Sharma, Dilipkumar Kodwini, Radhishraj Natarajan, Shubham Sharma, Nirav Janakbhai Panchal, Athar Parvez Mansuri, Mohmmad Samir Memon, Mohamed Kazim Momin, Palak Kumar Patel, Mohmed Sozab Pomin, Rodrigo Leon-Bradford-Castford Nicholas Alezander Deane, Drue Kyle Riggins and Jantz Parrish Miller.

Mohamed Kazim Momin, Patel, Mohmed Sozab Momin, Pope, Deane, Riggins and Miller were arrested Thursday before the American magistrate Janet F King.

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