• Sunday, December 04, 2022

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Indian national jailed for 22 years for $10m robocall scam

Representational image (iStock)

By: Pramod Thomas

AN Indian national gets 22 years jail term for defrauding over 4,000 people in the US of more than $10 million.

Shehzadkhan Pathan, 40, has been sentenced by a US court for operating a call centre in Ahmedabad from which automated robocalls were made to victims. 

According to the Department of Justice, after establishing contact with victims Pathan and others urged the victims to send bulk cash through physical shipments and electronic money transfers.

They used a variety of schemes to convince victims to send money, including impersonating law enforcement officers from the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and representatives of other government agencies, and threatened victims with severe legal and financial consequences.

Federal prosecutors said that they also convinced victims to send money as initial installments for falsely promised loans.

“This defendant has been sentenced to 22 years in prison for being the mastermind and leader of an extensive multimillion-dollar robocall scheme that, from overseas, exploited over 4,000 American victims,” said Raj Parekh, acting US Attorney for the eastern district of Virginia.        

“The impact of the harm inflicted on the victims of these robocall schemes can be devastating. The victims, many of whom are elderly, continue to endure significant financial hardship from the defendant’s vast fraud enterprise. When you consider the sheer number of victims this defendant extorted and the magnitude of their losses, the scale of harm and pain he caused is enormous.”

According to a statement, Pathan operated and supervised the call centre. He is the fourth of six defendants, in this case, to be sentenced for their role in the conspiracy.

Ahmedabad-based co-defendants Pradipsinh Parmar, 41, and Sumer Patel, 38, have acted as money couriers during the conspiracy, and are scheduled to be sentenced on September 20, the statement added. 

Eastern Eye

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