With conspirators in India, tricked victims to wire money to fake identities.
A US federal court has sentenced an Indian national to over a year in prison for his role in defrauding about 200 Americans of at least $150,000 with his conspirators in India.
According to court documents, Anikkhan Yusufkhan Pathan, 29, who was in the US on a student visa, “participated in an international fraud scheme that victimized 200 hard-working Americans.”
“Pathan’s conspirators located in India exploited victims who were trying to pay mortgages and apply for loans,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, US Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia.
In many cases, the conspirators identified people who had recently applied for a loan from a bank, according to a Justice Department press release.
In other cases, the conspirators learned which mortgage company held the deed to a victim’s home or claimed to represent a company the victim had recently done business with.
In every case, the conspirators then tricked their victims into sending money to fictitious identities using money transfer services like MoneyGram and Western Union, the release said.
Pathan used at least 67 fake IDs, each bearing the name of a different fictitious identity and his photograph, to collect the victim’s money from money transfer services throughout northern Virginia, it said.
As part of the scheme, Pathan kept a portion of the victim’s money for himself and deposited the balance into bank accounts of unknown individuals or wire transferred the money to conspirators located in India, the release said.
From April to September 2017, during the course of over 200 transactions, Pathan collected $150,000 sent by hundreds of victims located around the country, it said.
“The US Attorney’s Office will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those individuals who commit fraud and seek to profit from the financial hardship they cause their victims,” Terwilliger said.