An American federal judge sentenced Sharvil Patel, an Indian to 7 and a half years in prison in an on-going US crackdown on Indian call-centre fraud allegedly extorting Americans.
Apart from Jail term Patel was also fined $80,000 in Tampa, Florida.
Sharvil Patel and his accomplices pretended to be tax officials from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and claimed that they owed taxes and threatened the victims with arrest. They used India-based call-centres to make calls to people in the US.
They ordered the victims to buy prepaid cash cards and sent people to collect the cards, deposit the payments in to bank accounts they opened and turn over the money after deducting a commission, court papers said.
He was the 4th Indian to be sentenced within two months in the scams where US-based persons worked with operators in Indian call-centres pretending to be American tax officials.
Two other Indians belonging to Shravil Patel’s ring were sentenced last month – Nishitkumar Patel, 31, to eight years and nine months, and Hemalkumar Shah, 27, to eight and a half years.
Following the a charge, the law enforcement officers executed a search warrant at the home of Nishitkumar Patel and seized $50,000 in cash, 100’s of bank and wire transfer receipts, and 20 electronic devices.
The judge also awarded prison terms for two other non- indians, who have involved in the scam.
Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration Russell George said more than 15,000 victims have suffered over $75 million in losses since October 2013 to telephone scammers impersonating tax officials.
Another Indian, Mehboob Mansurali Charania, was sentenced last month in Atlanta to 16 months in prison and was ordered to pay back over $200,000 to his victims.
In October 2016, five Indian companies and 56 people, most of them of Indian descent, were charged in a Texas federal court with involvement in a similar racket.