The US Department of Justice has revealed that four Indians and a Pakistani have pleaded guilty to charges against them for their involvement in a massive telephone impersonation fraud and money laundering scheme in the US.
Rajubhai Patel (32), Viraj Patel (33), Dilip Kumar Ambal Patel (53) and Pakastani national Fahad Ali (25) all pleaded guilty to money laundering before US District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas.
Another Indian national, Hardik Patel (31) pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy before the same court on June 2nd.
Sentencing dates are pending for all five defendants.
Hardik’s statements reveal that he owned and managed the day-to-day operations of an India-based scam call centre, before later leaving for the US.
While in India, in his capacity as a manager, Hardik communicated extensively via email, text, and other means with various India-based co-defendants to operate the scheme and exchange scripts used in the scheme; coordinate the processing of payments from scammed victims; obtain and exchange lead lists used by callers to target US victims; and exchange spreadsheets containing the personal identifying information (PII) of US persons misappropriated by the scammers to register reloadable cards used in the scheme.
Hardik managed worker payroll and kept detailed profits and expenses records for various scam call centres. Rajubhai Patel operated as a runner, assisting Hardik in managing activities of a crew of other runners, based in Illinois, liquidating victim funds in the US for conspirators from India-based call centres.
Viraj Patel became involved prior to entering the US assisting and overseeing the operations of a call centre in India engaging in scam activity.
Dilipkumar A Patel operated as a runner around the Southern Californian region, along with other co-defendants in the same region.
Fahad Ali operated in he Chicago, Illinois area as a runner.
56 individuals and five India-based call centres have been charged to date for their roles in the fraud and laundering scheme in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on October 19th, 2016.