HomeIndian AmericanAlleged leader of call center scam extradited to the U.S.

Alleged leader of call center scam extradited to the U.S.

Call Center
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Views from the Edge

A 42-year-old Indian citizen faces indictment after being extradited to the United States from Singapore for his role in a call center scam which targeted over 15,000 people.


Hitesh Madhubhai Patel was arraigned Friday in a Houston court. He faces charges for his alleged role as an operator of a massive call center network that bilked victims of at least $230 million. Patel was charged with general conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy.

The indictment, which was unsealed in October 2016, charged Patel and 60 other individuals and entities with general conspiracy, wire fraud conspiracy and money laundering conspiracy. The case is assigned to the Honorable David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas.

“Since 2013, the IRS impersonation scam has been on a relentless path, claiming more than 15,000 victims who have collectively suffered over $75 million in losses,” said Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration J. Russell George. 

“TIGTA’s investigations, often conducted with other Federal agencies, have identified 140 scammers, including Patel, who have preyed upon taxpayers,” he said.


According to the indictment, operators of the call centers in Ahmedabad, in the Indian state of Gujarat, “threatened potential victims with arrest, imprisonment, fines or deportation if they did not pay taxes or penalties to the government”.


The alleged conspirators purportedly used information obtained from data brokers and other sources to find potential victims.

The call centers then used a network of U.S.-based conspirators to liquidate and launder extorted funds through stored value cards or wire transfers.

The conspirators collected the wire transfers by using fake names and fraudulent identifications.


At the request of the U.S., Singaporean authorities arrested Patel after he flew from India to Singapore on Sept. 21, 2018,

A total of 24 domestic defendants associated with this transnational criminal scheme have previously been convicted and sentenced to terms of imprisonment of up to 20 years in the Texas, Arizona and Georgia. 

The defendants were also ordered to pay millions of dollars in victim restitution and money judgments and to forfeit seized assets. Some defendants were ordered to be deported based on their illegal immigration status, with another defendant having his U.S. citizenship revoked due to a separate conviction for immigration fraud. The remaining India-based defendants have yet to be arraigned in this case.

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