Indian Americans arrested in IRS phone scam that was being operated from India

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The fraud proceeds were then picked up using fraudulent identification cards.

Courtesy of Youtube

Four Indian Americans have been arrested and charged with wire fraud after they were found involved in Internal Revenue Service (IRS) impersonation scam.

According to the Justice Department, Indian Americans Moin Gohil, Parvez Jiwani, Nakul Chetiwal and Pratik Patel were arrested by local and federal law enforcement agencies last week.

All four have been arrested on charges ranging from violations of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1343, 1349, 2 that includes wire fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aiding and abetting.

If convicted on any of these charges, the suspects can get a maximum of 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine.

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According to the official website of the Justice Department, the IRS impersonation scheme that was operated from call centers based in India was run by Pratik Patel who, according to the complaint, aided and abetted at least one of the runners.

Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani were “runners” who used fraudulent identification cards to pick up fraud proceeds, says the complaint.

The victims were cheated by the members of the wire fraud impersonating as officers from IRS. The calls were made from Indian call centers and during the course of the conversation the victims are intimidated and forced to wire money through a wire service.

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The fraud proceeds were then picked up by Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani, using fraudulent identification cards.

According to the complaint, Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani picked up $666,537 sent from 784 victims during the period from January 25, 2016, through August 8, 2017.  The false identities used by Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani are linked to an additional 6,530 fraudulent transactions totaling $2,836,745.

The Justice Department also released an advisory to the public stating that the US Internal Revenue Service (or any federal government agency) will never ask to pay money to them via MoneyGram, RIA, Western Union, or especially iTunes or Steam (online gaming) gift cards.

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The case is being prosecuted Assistant United States Attorney Zachary J. Corey and the defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.