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Press Release

Westmoreland County Resident Sentenced to 33 Months in Prison for Conspiring to Commit Wire Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Pennsylvania

PITTSBURGH, PA – A resident of Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, was sentenced in federal court for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, U.S. Attorney Eric G. Olshan announced today.

On January 8, 2024, United States District Judge Stephanie L. Haines sentenced Ronnell Taylor, Jr., 41, to 33 months of imprisonment, followed by two years of supervised release. Taylor was also ordered to pay restitution to 27 victims of the fraud scheme in the total amount of $193,111.

According to information provided to the court, Taylor admitted that, from March 2016 to August 2017, he participated in an IRS impersonation fraud conspiracy involving call centers located in India. As part of this fraud scheme, victims in the United States received recorded messages fraudulently claiming that the call was from the IRS concerning the victims’ failure to pay taxes and directing victims to call a U.S.-based telephone number to resolve the matter. Calls to these U.S.-based telephone numbers would be automatically forwarded to call centers in India, and those who answered told victims that they owed money to the IRS and demanded immediate payment via gift card or other means. To assist in this fraud scheme, Taylor activated and programmed cell phones to automatically forward calls to the foreign call centers. Taylor also hired associates, including his co-defendant Michael Galanis, to program hundreds of cell phones for this purpose. After Taylor learned that co-conspirators in India had been charged with conduct related to the fraud scheme, Taylor destroyed evidence related to the scheme, including prepaid credit cards, cell phones, and other documents.

Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Haines stated that the fraud conspiracy impacted numerous victims and lasted for almost 18 months. Judge Haines further noted that victims of the scheme were threatened and some suffered “financial destruction” as a result of the defendant’s offense.

Assistant United States Attorney Karen Gal-Or prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

United States Attorney Olshan commended the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, the United States Department of Homeland Security, and the United States Postal Inspection Service for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Taylor.

Anyone with information about allegations of elder fraud can report it by calling the National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 or 833–372–8311. More information about the Department’s efforts to help American seniors is available at its Elder Justice Initiative at For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at Elder fraud complaints may be filed with the FTC at or at 877-FTC-HELP.

Updated January 8, 2024

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud