Indian nationwide sentenced to 33-month imprisonment for telemarketing fraud

Washington, November 10

An Indian national has been sentenced to 33 months of imprisonment for his telemarketing and bank fraud.

Chirag Sachdeva, 30, had earlier pleaded guilty to the charges of his participation in a plan to steal from bank accounts of elderly victims across the US using their online-banking usernames and passwords, which had previously been taken from their computers.

The 33 months in federal prison would be followed by three years of supervised release. A US court in Rhode Island has also ordered him to pay USD 4,442 in restitution to the victims.

A second Indian national, Manish Kumar, 32, has also been arrested by the FBI for his participation in three related fraud schemes: two telemarketing schemes, technical support fraud and refund fraud, and credit card fraud.

According to the Department of Justice, Sachdeva also admitted to enlisting the assistance of an acquaintance in Rhode Island to assist in the theft effort.

He provided that acquaintance information sufficient to obtain online access to the victims’ accounts as well as personal information about the victims, all of whom were over the age of 65.

Kumar, who is awaiting sentencing, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, four counts of wire fraud, and two counts of aggravated identity theft, the Department of Justice said.

Kumar admitted that he directed telephone calls to call centres in India as part of a scheme to mislead callers into believing that their computers were infected by malware and that they needed to buy computer protection services from the call centre operators.

He also admitted to participation in the later part of this scheme as well by providing accounts where additional money taken from the victims could be wired.

Those who had fallen prey to the first part of the scheme were told that they were entitled to refunds. They were then told that they had accidentally been sent more than due, and were asked to return the excess money.

Because no money had in fact been sent to the victims, those who were convinced to return the “excess” money were in fact sending their own money. Additionally, Kumar admitted that he schemed to place false charges on credit cards. PTI  

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