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4 Texans among 24 defendants sentenced in call center scam

Four Texans among 24 defendants were sentenced for their part in a massive India-based call center fraud and money laundering scam. (Cutout Photo: Dave Dugdale / Flickr / CC BY-SA 2.0)

Four Texans among 24 defendants were sentenced for their part in a massive India-based call center fraud and money laundering scam.

The U.S. Department of Justice says the group defrauded thousands of U.S. residents of hundreds of millions of dollars.

All were sentenced in Houston this week.

“Today’s sentences should serve as a strong deterrent to anyone considering taking part in similar scams, and I hope that they provide a sense of justice to the victims, as well,” said HSI Acting Executive Associate Director Derek N. Benner.

Sunny Joshi, aka Sharad Ishwarlal Joshi and Sunny Mahashanker Joshi, 47, of Texas, was sentenced to serve 151 months in prison on the charge of money laundering conspiracy, and 120 months in prison on the charge of naturalization fraud to run concurrent followed by three years of supervised release. Ashvinbhai Chaudhari, 28, of Texas, was sentenced to serve 87 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release on one count of money laundering conspiracy. Nilesh Pandya, 54, of Texas, was sentenced to serve three years probation on one count of conspiracy.

Investigators say they frequently impersonated officials from the IRS in a ruse designed to defraud victims located throughout the United States.

If any taxpayer believes they or someone they know is a victim of an IRS impersonation scam, they should report it to TIGTA at www.tigta.gov or by calling 1-800-366-4484.

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