New York, July 21. Twenty-one Indian-origin persons have been sentenced up to 20 years in prison in the US for their involvement in a multimillion-dollar India-based call centre scam that defrauded thousands of American citizens of hundreds of millions of dollars.
The prison sentences announced this week range from 4 to 20 years. “The stiff sentences imposed represent the culmination of the first-ever large scale, multi-jurisdiction prosecution targeting the India call centre scam industry,” US Attorney General Jeff Sessions said.
Several of the convicted will be deported to India after the completion of their sentence.
“This case represents one of the most significant victories to date in our continuing efforts to combat elder fraud and the victimisation of the most vulnerable members of the US public. The transnational criminal ring of fraudsters and money launderers who conspired to bilk older Americans, legal immigrants and many others out of their life savings through their lies, threats and financial schemes must recognise that all resources at the Department’s disposal will be deployed to shut down these telefraud schemes, put those responsible in jail, and bring a measure of justice to the victims,” Sessions said.
According to various admissions made in connection with the guilty pleas, between 2012 and 2016, the defendants and their conspirators perpetrated a complex fraud and money laundering scheme in which individuals from call centres located in Ahmedabad frequently impersonated officials from the Internal Revenue Service or US Immigration Services to defraud Americans.
- Between 2012 and 2016, individuals from call centres based in Ahmedabad impersonated US officials to defraud Americans
- They threatened their victims with arrest, deportation, imprisonment and fines for unpaid dues to the government