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Indian American Nilam Parikh pleads guilty of IRS phone scam using Indian call centers

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The Alabama resident is the fourth person to plead guilty in the case.

Courtesy of Youtube

U.S. District Court Judge David Hittner of the Southern District of Texas has found Indian American Nilam Parikh, 46, guilty on various charges of telephone fraud and money laundering scheme that she operated through call centers based in India.

According to an official release of the Justice department, the sentencing of Parikh, a resident of Pelham, Alabama, is scheduled for Aug. 11, 2017.

The admissions made in the court suggest that Parikh and her co-conspirators used complex fraudulent schemes routed through call centers located in Ahmedabad, India, to exhort money from people in the US.

According to the court, Parikh’s assistants in India postured as IRS, or USCIS officials and defrauded victims located in various US cities by threatening them with arrest, imprisonment, heavy fine or deportation. The victims were asked to pay alleged monies owed to the government through the scammers via purchasing stored value cards or wiring money.

Upon payment, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of “runners” based in the U.S. to liquidate and launder the fraudulently obtained funds.

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According to the judgment, Parikh was the chief handler and ran the operation from Alabama. She also admitted to the court that she used to receive directions from her India based co-conspirator via WhatsApp to purchase reloadable cards registered with misappropriated personal identifying information of U.S. citizens.

When the cards were loaded with the victim scam proceeds, Parikh liquidated it on the cards and transferred the funds into money orders, which were later deposited in various bank accounts while keeping part of the victim funds for herself as payment. Parikh also admitted to sending and receiving scam proceeds to and from her co-conspirators via Federal Express.

According to the justice department, Parikh and other 55 individuals and five India-based call centers have been charged in the case for fraud and money laundering scheme through indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of Texas on Oct. 19, 2016.

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Parikh is the fourth defendant in the case. Her co-defendants Bharatkumar Patel, Ashvinbhai Chaudhari and Harsh Patel pleaded guilty on April 13, 2017, April 26, 2017, and May 11, 2017, respectively.