Last week, Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director in Charge New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), and Timothy P. Camus, Deputy Inspector General for Investigations of the United States Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (“TIGTA”), announced that SAHIL PATEL was sentenced to 175 months in prison and $1 million in forfeiture for his role in organizing the U.S. side of a massive fraud and extortion ring run through various “call centers” located in India. PATEL and his coconspirators impersonated American law enforcement officials and threatened victims with arrest and financial penalties unless those victims made payments to avoid purported charges.
PATEL pleaded guilty in January 2015 before U.S. District Judge Alvin Hellerstein, who imposed the sentence last week. According to the Superseding Indictment, other documents filed in Manhattan federal court, and statements made at related court proceedings, PATEL participated as a leader in a sophisticated scheme to intimidate and defraud hundreds of innocent victims of hundreds of dollars from December 2011 through the day of his arrest on December 18, 2013. Throughout the course of the fraud, telephone call centers located in India hired English-speaking employees to place telephone calls to individuals living in the U.S., in the hopes of intimidating the call recipients into providing a payment to the co-conspirators. In order to extort these victims, the India-based callers impersonated law enforcement officials of the FBI and IRS and threatened their victims with financial penalties and arrest in connection with fabricated financial crimes. Patel and his co-conspirators used several layers of wire transactions in order to conceal the destination and nature of the extorted payments, which totaled at least $1.2 million dollars.
To read the FBI’s press release, please click here.