Internal Revenue Service Impersonation Scammers Arrested
United States Attorney Gregory J. Haanstad for the Eastern District of Wisconsin announced that pursuant to criminal complaints and arrest warrants issued by a United States Magistrate Judge in the Eastern District of Wisconsin four suspects in an Internal Revenue Service impersonation scam were arrested by local and federal law enforcement. Moin Gohil of Dunwoody, Georgia (age: 22), was arrested by local law enforcement authorities on November 24, 2017. Pratik Patel of Hoffman Estates, Illinois (age: 26), Parvez Jiwani of Tucker, Georgia (age: 39), and Nakul Chetiwal of Dunwoody, Georgia (age: 27), were arrested on November 28, 2017 by federal law enforcement authorities. All of these arrests were based on charges of violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343, 1349, 2 (Wire Fraud, Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud, and Aiding and Abetting). Each of these charges carries a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.
According to the criminal complaint, Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani were “runners” who used fraudulent identification cards to pick up fraud proceeds for a scheme likely originating from India. Patel aided and abetted at least one of the runners. In this scheme, which is sometimes referred to as an “IRS impersonation scheme,” members of the scheme (likely in India) call victims and make misrepresentations (typically, that the victim owes taxes) and cause the victims to wire money through a wire service, such as MoneyGram. Other members of the conspiracy (known as “runners”), such as Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani, then use fraudulent identification cards to pick up the fraud proceeds. According to the complaint, Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani picked up $666,537 sent from 784 victims during the period from January 25, 2016, through August 8, 2017. The false identities used by Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani are linked to an additional 6,530 fraudulent transactions totaling $2,836,745.
The case was investigated by the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Mid Atlantic Division and Southern Field Division as well as the Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin Police Department and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of the Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted Assistant United States Attorney Zachary J. Corey.
A criminal complaint is only a charge and not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The public should be aware that the Internal Revenue Service (or any federal government agency) will never ask you to pay money to them via MoneyGram, RIA, Western Union, or especially iTunes or Steam (online gaming) gift cards.
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