Two members of a large India-based call center scam operation that targets US victims have pleaded guilty, the Department of Justice (DOJ) announced on Friday.
Bhavesh Patel, 47, of Arizona, plead guilty to money-laundering conspiracy charges, and Asmitaben Patel, 34, of Illinois, plead guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering.
The pair are part of an India-based call center scam operation that includes five call centers and 54 other individuals who have already been charged, according to the DOJ. According to authorities, the call center ring would impersonate Internal Revenue Service or US Citizenship and Immigration Services officials and target US victims with threats of deportation, fines, arrest, and imprisonment, unless they wired money or loaded funds onto store valued cards that would be sent to the defendants.
Once the funds were in possession of the call center ring, Patel and other runners would liquidate the stored value cards by buying money orders and depositing them into various bank accounts. Asmitaben Patel was a runner since 2013 and Bhavesh Patel managed the crew of runners beginning in 2014.
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