call centre operators in India obtained personal and banking details
An Indian man has pleaded guilty for his role in a telemarketing scam to try and steal approximately $600,000 from seven elderly people in the United States.
The fraud operation was India-based.
Thirty-year-old Chirag Sachdeva was arrested by FBI agents on February 16, 2020, as he got off a plane in Boston after a flight from India. He has been held in custody since.
In a statement on September 15, 2020, the US Department of Justice said that Sachdeva pleaded guilty in front of US District Court Chief Judge John J McConnell Jr.
He said that he attempted to misappropriate funds from the bank accounts of the victims, each of them older than 65 years across the USA, using personal and banking information obtained from them in the course of an India-based telemarketing scheme.
The scam involved fraudsters offering victims computer protection services after convincing them that malware had been detected on their computers.
While carrying out the scam, call centre operators in India obtained personal and banking details from the victims’ computers through remote access applications and from the victims directly.
Sachdeva admitted that he later tried to use the personal and banking details to misappropriate funds from the victims’ bank accounts.
Sachdeva explained that he contacted an acquaintance in Rhode Island and enlisted his help in the telemarketing scam.
The acquaintance helped the Indian national access and steal funds from the victims’ bank accounts.
According to court documents, an FBI investigation determined that Sachdeva provided his acquaintance with personal and banking information sufficient to enable online access into the accounts of at least seven individuals, each over the age of 65.
The investigation determined that the intended loss to these victims totalled $600,000.
However, unbeknown to Sachdeva, his acquaintance in Rhode Island was helping the FBI in an investigation into the fraud scheme.
United States Attorney Aaron Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph Bonavolonta said that Sachdeva pleaded guilty to seven counts of wire fraud on September 14, 2020.
Sachdeva has remained in custody since his arrest.
Following his conviction, the fraudster is scheduled to be sentenced on December 8, 2020.
Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000.
In a separate case, 43-year-old Hitesh Madhubhai Patel pleaded guilty for his role in a multi-million dollar call centre fraud that targeted Americans.
He had played a prominent role in operating and funding the India-based call centres.