A United States court in Atlanta has sentenced an Indian-American couple for laundering over USD500,000 on behalf of India-based phone scammers.
Chaitali Dave (36) was on Thursday sentenced to 20 months, to be followed by three years of supervised release and ordered to pay $320,550 in restitution.
Mehulkumar Manubhai Patel (36) was sentenced to 30 months, followed by two years of supervised release and ordered to pay $259,217 in restitution.
As part of their Social Security scam, India-based callers posed as federal agents in order to mislead victims into believing their Social Security numbers were involved in crimes, federal prosecutors alleged.
The callers threatened arrest and loss of assets if the victims did not send money, they said.
The scammers then directed the victims to mail cash to aliases used by other members of the fraud network, including Patel and Dave, the federal prosecutors added.
As part of a tech support scam, the callers also induced victims to send money in the pretext of supposed technical support for their computers.
According to federal prosecutors, the callers routinely misled the victims by making it appear as though the caller added money to the victims’ bank accounts. The callers then instructed the victims to mail cash to aliases used by other members of the fraud network, including Patel and Dave, they said.
“These convictions should stand as a warning that my office will aggressively investigate and work to hold those accountable who collect and transmit money from Social Security imposter scam victims,” said Gail S Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration.
“International call centres continue to victimise the elderly and most vulnerable members of our community,” said acting US Attorney Kurt R Erskine.