Indian American Jailed For Three Years In Telemarketing Scam Targeting Elderly
Hirenkumar P Chaudhari, 29, pleaded guilty to a federal money laundering charge in 2021 and was sentenced in 2022.
An Indian American resident of Illinois, United States, has been sentenced to three years in jail for laundering cash earned from a telemarketing scheme that targeted senior citizens, according to the Press Trust of India.
Hirenkumar P Chaudhari, 29, pleaded guilty to a federal money laundering charge in 2021, said John R Lausch, US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois. Lausch announced the sentencing in July 2022.
According to federal prosecutors, Chaudhari's scam involved using a fake Indian passport, false name, and false addresses in order to open several bank accounts in the US to receive cash from victims of the telemarketing scheme.
The scam consisted of phone calls from people falsely claiming to be from either the Social Security Administration or US Department of Justice, among other agencies. They would let the victims know that their identity had been stolen and that they would need to transfer money to various bank accounts including those opened by Chaudhari.
Chaudhari played a crucial role in this telemarketing scheme that directly took money from elderly victims.
According to the US Department of Justice, one of the victims was a retired nurse who even transferred more than $900,000 from her bank and retirement accounts to accounts controlled by Chaudhari and others.
This scam has been going on for quite some time. On April 19, 2018, which was one day after Chaudhari opened an account and received $7,000 from the Massachusetts victim, he entered a branch in Chicago and withdrew $6,500.
According to the court documents, Chaudhari knowingly participated in this particular financial transaction with an understanding that the money that he withdrew came from an "unlawful activity."
(With inputs from Press Trust of India)
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