Case No.: 4:16-cr-385s
Description of case
Charges have been filed against 56 individuals and five companies in India, who are alleged to be part of a transnational criminal organization that has victimized tens of thousands of persons in the United States through fraudulent schemes that have resulted in hundreds of millions of dollars in losses.
The indictment alleges that the defendants were involved in a sophisticated fraudulent scheme organized by 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 (IRS) or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. According to the indictment, the call center operators then threatened potential victims with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay taxes or penalties to the government. If the victims agreed to pay, the call centers would then immediately turn to a network of U.S.-based co-conspirators to liquidate and launder the extorted funds as quickly as possible by purchasing prepaid debit cards or through wire transfers. The prepaid debit cards were often registered using misappropriated personal identifying information of thousands of identity theft victims, and the wire transfers were directed by the criminal associates using fake names and fraudulent identifications.
Official Press Releases
11/27/17 - Jury Trial
TBD - Sentencing - (To be set after all of the defendants in this matter have either been convicted and/or their cases resolved via a jury trial)
07/19/17 - Re-Arraignment - Nilesh Pandya
07/18/17 - Re-Arraignment - Montu Barot
07/07/17 - Re-Arriagnment - Bhavesh Patel and Asmitaben Patel
06/05/17 - Re-Arriagnment - Rajubhai Bholabhai Patel
06/02/17 - Re-Arriagnment - Hardik Arvindbhai Patel and Viraj Patel
05/26/17 - Re-Arraignment - Fahad Ali and Dilipkumar A. Patel
05/18/17 - Re-Arraignment - Nilam Parikh
05/11/17 - Re-Arraignment - Harsh Patel
04/26/17 - Re-Arraignment - Ashvinbhai Chaudhari
04/14/17 - Re-Arraignment - Bharatkumar Patel
The indictment was returned by a grand jury in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, 2016, and charges the defendants with conspiracy to commit identity theft, false personation of an officer of the United States, wire fraud and money laundering. One of the defendants is separately charged with passport fraud.
Anyone who believes they may be a victim of fraud or identity theft in relation to this investigation or other telefraud scam phone calls may contact the FTC via this website.
Anyone who wants additional information about telefraud scams generally, or preventing identity theft or fraudulent use of their identity information, may obtain helpful information on the IRS tax scams website, the FTC phone scam website and the FTC identity theft website.
Victim Witness Coordinator