Three defendants and an India-based call center indicted in phone scam targeting U.S. victims
ATLANTA – Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma, Julliette Belle Carter, Kunal Jagdishbhai Sharma, and a call-center named Skyz International Outsourcing BPO have been indicted for their alleged involvement in a transnational criminal organization that victimized United States residents through a tele-fraud scheme that led victims to believe they owed taxes and fees to the Internal Revenue Service. Julliette Belle Carter was arrested in Canada pursuant to an extradition request. In connection with the scheme, two other defendants and a call center in India were also charged for their alleged involvement.
“IRS phone schemes profit by victimizing United States residents, including vulnerable members of our community,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak. “This indictment and the arrest in Canada demonstrate our commitment to identifying and prosecuting those who perpetuate phone scams on our citizens no matter where the perpetrators are located.”
J. Russell George, the Inspector General for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA) advised that “since 2013, IRS impersonation scams have been on a relentless path, claiming more than 15,000 victims who have lost upwards of $74 Million to the scammers. Today’s unsealed indictment makes clear that 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 international telephone scheme. Using lists of U.S. residents’ personal identifiable information, co-conspirators allegedly called potential victims while impersonating officials from the Internal Revenue Service.
The callers would then threaten potential victims with prosecution or arrest if they did not pay alleged tax debts immediately. After the victims agreed to pay, the callers would instruct the victims to send the money electronically using banks or money transmitters, such as MoneyGram, to defendants Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma, Julliette Belle Carter, and others. Victims, including residents of Georgia, believed the threats and sent money. Defendants Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma and Julliette Belle Carter retrieved the fraud proceeds from various MoneyGram locations in states such as Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin.
The indictment charges Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma, Julliette Belle Carter, Kunal Jagdishbhai Sharma, and Skyz International Outsourcing BPO with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud. The indictment also charges Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma and Julliette Belle Carter with conspiracy to commit money laundering.
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 Attorneys Jolee Porter and Jeffrey A. Brown, Deputy Chief, Complex Fraud Section, 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.