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8 defendants sentenced in call center fraud scheme involving elderly victims

All but one lived in Georgia at the time of the crimes.

Eight defendants have been sentenced for their roles in an Indian based call center fraud scheme that victimized thousands in the United States resulting in over $3.7 million in losses.  The sentences ranged from six months to four years and nine months in prison.

“IRS and payday loan phone schemes seek to profit by exploiting United States citizens, including the elderly and most vulnerable members of our community,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak.  “As this case shows, we will prosecute companies and individuals in India and in this country who choose to steal from vulnerable victims.”

“Victimizing taxpayers by impersonating Internal Revenue Service employees is a serious crime,” said J. Russell George, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.  “TIGTA will do everything within its power to ensure that those involved in the impersonation of IRS employees are prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.  These significant sentences should serve as notice to those who engage in this type of criminal activity that they will be held accountable.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: These defendants were involved in a sophisticated scheme organized by co-conspirators in India, including a network of call centers in Ahmedabad, India.  Using information obtained from data brokers and other sources, call center operators called potential victims while impersonating officials from the Internal Revenue Service or individuals offering fictitious payday loans.

The call center operators would then threaten potential victims with arrest, imprisonment, or fines if they did not pay taxes or penalties to the government.  If the victims agreed to pay, the call centers would immediately turn to a network of U.S.-based co-conspirators to liquidate and launder the extorted funds by purchasing prepaid debit cards or through wire transfers, including through MoneyGram and Western Union, to the attention of fictitious names and U.S.-based defendants and their co-conspirators.

Eight defendants have been sentenced as part of this case. U.S. District Judge Michael L. Brown sentenced the following individuals:

  • Mohamed Kazim Momin, 33, of Norcross, Georgia, was sentenced to four years and nine months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. The amount of restitution will be determined at a later hearing.
  • Rodrigo Leon-Castillo, 46, of Katy, Texas, was sentenced to four years and three months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $833,938.20 in restitution.
  • Mohmed Sozab Momin, 23, of Lawrenceville, Georgia, was sentenced to two years and six months in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release. The amount of restitution will be determined at a later hearing.
  • Drue Kyle Riggins, 24, of Stone Mountain, Georgia, was sentenced to one year, one month in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $49,640.36 in restitution.
  • Nicholas Alexander Deane, 26, of Tucker, Georgia, was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $49,640.36 in restitution.
  • Palak Kumar Patel, 30, Clarkston, Georgia, was sentenced to ten months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $19,142.60 in restitution.
  • Jantz Parrish Miller, 25, Stone Mountain, Georgia, was sentenced to eight months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $49,640.36 in restitution.
  • Devin Bradford Pope, 25, of Chamblee, Georgia, was sentenced to six months in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $49,640.36 in restitution.

These eight defendants were charged along with five Indian call centers and seven Indian nationals in a 27-count indictment with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The government is seeking extradition of Indian nationals.

The U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration investigated this case.

Assistant U.S Attorney Jeffrey A. Brown, Deputy Chief of the Complex Frauds Section, and Assistant U.S. Attorney Jolee Porter prosecuted the case.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia is part of the Department of Justice Transnational Elder Fraud Strike Force. The Strike Force focuses on investigating and prosecuting defendants associated with foreign-based fraud schemes that disproportionately affect American seniors.  These include romance scams, phone scams, mass-mailing fraud schemes, and tech-support fraud schemes.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Avatar

    NELDA SMITH

    January 28, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    AWESOME ! THIS IS A GREAT WIN FOR JUSTICE ! NOW, IF THE JUSTICE DEPT. COULD GET THOSE “SOFTECH” CROOKS THAT CLAIM TO BE MICROSOFT AND AFTER HACKING YOUR COMPUTER PUT THEIR PHONE NUMBER UP IF YOU WANT THE SIREN TO STOP AND TO GET YOUR COMPUTER BACK! THEY CHARGE $258 TO “FIX” YOUR COMPUTER ONLINE AND FOR A YEAR OF PROTECTION” ! I’VE KNOWN MANY SENIOR CITIZENS THAT HAVE FALLEN FOR THIS !

  2. Avatar

    Jins

    January 29, 2020 at 3:01 pm

    Being an Indian, I hope that all those call center companies in India also get punishment. I almost fell for the IRS scam in 2018. These people with the help of few American citizens form a big underworld network. They are very very bad people.

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