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Press Release

Manager of Transnational Fraud Scheme Sentenced to 41 Months in Prison

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of New York
Callers Based in India Impersonated Federal Employees and Netted Over $2 Million From Victims Across the United States

Earlier today, in federal court in Central Islip, Kamal Zafar was sentenced by United States District Judge Joan M. Azrack to 41 months in prison for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a fraudulent scheme directed at thousands of individuals in the United States.  As part of the sentence, Zafar was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $3.2 million and forfeiture of $232,362.  Zafar pleaded guilty to the charge in June 2022.    

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the sentence.

Mr. Peace thanked the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration and New York City Police Department for their assistance with the case.

As alleged in the indictment and other court filings and proceedings, Zafar managed the fraud scheme by recruiting individuals to open bank accounts in the names of inactive and shell corporations and also assisted in the laundering of fraud proceeds.  Between January 2018 and September 2018, operating from call centers in India, the scheme targeted victims in the United States and falsely claimed to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration or the Drug Enforcement Administration.  The victims who were taxpayers were informed that they owed a sum of money to the Internal Revenue Service.  The victims who were medical professionals were informed that they owed a sum of money to the DEA in connection with their licenses. Both groups of victims were told that they would be arrested the next day if the debts were not immediately paid.  After the victims wired payments to bank accounts that Zafar had opened or directed to be opened to receive the fraud proceeds, the funds were either withdrawn and laundered through additional bank accounts or wired to foreign countries.  The scheme netted over $2 million from victims across the United States.

Zafar’s six co-conspirators previously pleaded guilty.  In January 2022, Ajay Sharma, the leader and organizer of the fraud scheme, was sentenced to 78 months in prison and five others are awaiting sentencing.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Long Island Criminal Division.  Assistant United States Attorneys Charles P. Kelly, Charles N. Rose and Diane Leonardo are in charge of the prosecution.

The Defendant:

Age: 53
South Huntington
, New York

Defendants Who Have Previously Pleaded Guilty:

Age: 44
Mumbai, India

Age:  25
Bellerose, New York

RICARDO URBINO, also known as “Ricardo Urbina”
Age: 30
Queens, New York

Age:  33
Queens Village, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-024 (JMA)

Age:  48
Huntington, New York

Age:  68
College Point, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 19-CR-385 (JMA)


John Marzulli                                         
Danielle Hass
United States Attorney’s Office
(718) 254-6323

Updated March 15, 2023

Financial Fraud