15 Defendants and Five India-Based Call Centers Indicted in Phone Scam Targeting U.S. Victims
ATLANTA – An indictment was unsealed yesterday charging 20 individuals and entities for their alleged involvement in a transnational criminal organization that victimized over 2,000 people in the United States through a fraudulent India-based call-center scheme, resulting in over $5.5 million in losses. In connection with the scheme, seven individuals were arrested yesterday in the United States. Seven defendants and five call centers in India were also charged for their alleged involvement.
“IRS and payday loan phone schemes seek to profit by exploiting United States citizens, including the most vulnerable members of our community,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “This indictment and yesterday’s arrests demonstrate our commitment to identifying and prosecuting those who hide behind these types of phone scams.”
“This indictment makes clear that the IRS impersonation scam has risen to a new level, with indictments against five call centers and seven co-conspirators in India who allegedly directed their employees to participate in the scam,” said J. Russell George, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration. “I wish to congratulate my investigative team, who labored many long hours to untangle the intricate web of financial transactions that the defendants allegedly completed as part of a transnational conspiracy to extort money from taxpayers and conceal and disguise the proceeds of their unlawful activities. Since 2013, the IRS impersonation scam has been on a relentless path, claiming more than 14,000 victims who have lost upwards of $71 million to the scammers,” the Inspector General noted. “TIGTA will continue to be just as relentless in our pursuit of individuals who fraudulently represent themselves as IRS officials in order to extort money from taxpayers. We will not back down from our pursuit of these criminals, and will continue to work with all law enforcement partners to bring them to justice.”
According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: The indictment alleges that the defendants were involved in a sophisticated scheme organized by co-conspirators in India, including a network of call centers in Ahmedabad, India. Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators allegedly called potential victims while impersonating officials from the Internal Revenue Service or individuals offering fictitious payday loans.
The call center operators would then threaten potential victims with arrest, imprisonment, or fines if they did not pay taxes or penalties to the government. If the victims agreed to pay, the call centers allegedly would immediately turn to a network of U.S.-based co-conspirators to liquidate and launder the extorted funds by purchasing prepaid debit cards or through wire transfers, including through MoneyGram and Western Union, to the attention of fictitious names and U.S.-based defendants and their co-conspirators.
The indictment charges the following defendants and entities with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit money laundering:
- Excellent Solutions BPO,
- ADN Infotech Pvt. Ltd.,
- Infoace BPO Solutions Pvt. Ltd.,
- Adore Infosource, Inc.,
- Zurik BPO Services Pvt. Ltd.,
- Shylesh Kumar Sharma,
- Dilipkumar Kodwini,
- Radhishraj Natarajan,
- Shubham Sharma,
- Nirav Janakbhai Panchal,
- Athar Parvez Mansuri,
- Mohmmad Samir Memon,
- Mohamed Kazim Momin,
- Palak Kumar Patel,
- Mohmed Sozab Momin,
- Rodrigo Leon-Castillo,
- Devin Bradford Pope,
- Nicholas Alezander Deane,
- Drue Kyle Riggins, and
- Jantz Parrish Miller
Mohamed Kazim Momin, Patel, Mohmed Sozab Momin, Pope, Deane, Riggins and Miller were arraigned yesterday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Janet F. King.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment only contains charges. The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.
Assistant U.S Attorney Jeffrey A. Brown, Deputy Chief of the Complex Frauds Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jolee Porter are prosecuting the case.
For further information please contact the U.S. Attorney’s Public Affairs Office at USAGAN.PressEmails@usdoj.gov or (404) 581-6016. The Internet address for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is http://www.justice.gov/usao-ndga.