Michigan Man Arrested for International Computer Fraud Scheme and Distribution of Opioids and Other Illegal Drugs
For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Massachusetts
Scheme involved co-conspirators in India, Europe and the United States
BOSTON – A Michigan man was arrested today in connection with a complex multi-year scheme to defraud computer users and to sell controlled substances online.
Doyal Kalita, 35, of Redford, Mich., was indicted on one count of wire fraud conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to import Schedule II and Schedule IV controlled substances and one count of money laundering conspiracy. Kalita will make an initial appearance in federal court in the Eastern District of Michigan today. He will appear in federal court in Boston at a later date.
“Taking advantage of innocent people through the assumed anonymity that the internet provides is a cowardly crime. We believe that Mr. Kalita ran an online criminal enterprise that not only targeted and deceived innocent online users out of their own money, but also pumped deadly opioids into our communities,” said United State Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “Bad actors think they can remain undetected from law enforcement while behind a computer screen. They should think again. We have the tools to identify you and bring your criminal activity to a halt. And we will use them.”
“Tech support scams cost Massachusetts residents $5.3 million last year, and consumers, nationwide, lost $347 million. The FBI is working hard every day to hold the criminals behind these scams accountable for the harm they inflict, and today, we arrested Doyal Kalita for his alleged role in a multi-year, international scheme to defraud computer users, and, for his role in a side business selling imported drugs online,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Today’s arrest should be a warning to others that the FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to root out fraudsters who victimize our fellow citizens for personal gain.”
“The defendant and others allegedly operated a variety store of online scams. First, they are alleged to have devised a complex help-desk scam to defraud innocent individuals who were simply trying to resolve phony computer problems. In addition, they are also accused of operating an online drug distribution scheme that sold controlled substances,” said Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, Boston Office. “As a result of today’s charges, their scams are no longer in operation, and they will now be held responsible for their alleged fraud and deceit.”
According to the indictment, in 2015, Kalita and a co-conspirator started a scheme to defraud internet users through the use of deceptive pop-up screens that falsely told victims that their computers were infected with viruses (or were otherwise damaged) and directed the victims to call for technical support. In fact, the victims were connected to Kalita and his co-conspirator’s call centers in India and in Michigan and were scared or deceived into buying products and services that they did not need. It is further alleged that, contemporaneously with the fraud scheme, Kalita and his co-conspirator launched an online drug distribution scheme that sold controlled substances, including opioids, and shipped the drugs from India and Europe to persons in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the United States. It is alleged that another individual later joined the conspiracy as one of Kalita’s principal drug suppliers.
The charge of wire fraud conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charge of money laundering conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $500,000 or twice the value of the laundered funds, whichever is greater. The charge of conspiracy to import controlled substances provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greater. The charges of drug distribution and conspiracy to distribute drugs each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
U.S. Attorney Rollins, FBI SAC Bonavolonta and IRS SAC Simpson made the announcement today. The United States Marshals Service in Boston provided valuable assistance in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kriss Basil of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
Updated August 4, 2022