Michigan Man Who Orchestrated International Computer Fraud Scheme and Online Drug Distribution Scheme Pleads Guilty
BOSTON – A Michigan man has pleaded guilty to organizing separate multi-year schemes that defrauded internet users via scam virus alerts and distributed controlled substances online.
Doyal Kalita, 36, of Redford, Mich., pleaded guilty to 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. U.S. District Court Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton scheduled sentencing for May 16, 2024. Kalita was arrested in August 2022.
“Mr. Kalita exploited people’s fears about cyber security by convincing them that their computers had viruses and selling them unnecessary services. Simultaneously, he lined his pockets by distributing deadly opioids into Massachusetts,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Joshua S. Levy. “This type of criminal behavior and victimization will not be tolerated. We will continue to be vigilant and hold those accountable that hide behind a keyboard to victimize others and pump dangerous drugs into our communities.”
“Doyal Kalita not only cheated unsuspecting victims around the world and here at home out of their hard-earned money by scaring them into paying for unnecessary and useless computer repair services, but he peddled deadly opioids into our communities too,” said Jodi Cohen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “Fortunately, the FBI and our partners are experts at untangling such frauds, to ensure criminals like him are brought to justice to answer for their crimes.”
“The disruption of international criminal syndicates is a top priority for IRS Criminal Investigation” said Harry T. Chavis Jr, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations. “As a result of today’s guilty plea, we have successfully disrupted a complex network of international actors praying on the American people through their call center schemes and illegal narcotics distribution networks.”
In 2015, Kalita and co-conspirators organized 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’s call centers in India and in Michigan and were scared or deceived into buying products and services that they did not need.
Contemporaneously, Kalita and his co-conspirators launched an online drug distribution scheme that sold controlled substances, including opioids, that were shipped from suppliers in India and Europe to individuals in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the United States. Kalita and his co-conspirators facilitated online sales from multiple foreign drug suppliers and received controlled substances from abroad before repackaging and distributing them throughout the United States. To conceal the nature of the transactions, Kalita and his co-conspirators used PayPal and merchant accounts that purported to belong to non-existent consulting companies, health supplement stores, auto parts suppliers and travel agencies. In some instances, Kalita and his co-conspirators created fake travel itineraries and receipts to deceive credit card processors in the United States in order to keep the drug business from being detected.
Two of Kalita’s co-conspirators remain fugitives.
In January 2023, Manish Kumar – a partner in a Mumbai-based prescription drug companies and one of Kalita’s suppliers – was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf to 87 months in prison, three months of supervised release and was ordered to pay a fine of $100,000.
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. 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.
Acting U.S. Levy, FBI SAC Cohen and IRS-CI SAC Chavis made the announcement today. The United States Food & Drug Administration; Homeland Security Investigations; United States Customs & Border Protection; United States Marshals Service in Boston; and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York provided valuable assistance in the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kriss Basil of the Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.