INDICA NEWS OFFICE –
An Indian-born call center owner was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison for conspiring to commit electronic fraud as part of a large-scale telemarketing program and for relentlessly stealing millions of dollars. dollars to innocent Americans and posing as a federal employee, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, New York (IRS-CI) announced.
Ajay Sharma, a 54-year-old man, was convicted on December 17 by US District Judge Joan M. Azrack and ordered to pay restitution of $ 3,266,714 and confiscate $ 1,005,421.
Based in New York City, Sharma is the owner and director of APS Technology, a telemarketing call center located in New Delhi, and between January 2018 and September 2018, along with his co-conspirators, he targeted victims in the United States. United and falsely claimed to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service, Social Security Administration, or Drug Enforcement Administration.
According to the press briefing, the victims were told that they owed a sum of money to the US government or one of its agencies and that they would be arrested if the debts were not paid promptly. The victims wired payments into bank accounts the defendants had opened on behalf of inactive and shell companies only to receive the proceeds of the fraud. Then Sharma and her co-conspirators withdrew the funds.
The judicial document sent to indica by IRS Criminal Investigation, Says Shama and Her Team Not Only Stole Money, But Also Operated A Fake Ecommerce Website. “The co-conspirators would agree to sell an alleged product to an online buyer and collect the alleged purchase price, without ever passing the product on as agreed,” according to the court document.
The court document also reveals that Sharma’s co-conspirators, Ankur Sharma, Armughanul Asar, Harpreet Singh, “Ricardo Urbina and Jamal Zafar when receiving wire transfer payments from innocent people would then distribute the money via cashier’s checks. and bank transfers to another bank accounts.
In total, between approximately January 2016 and the date of filing of this indictment, the defendants received approximately $ 2.5 million from the victims as a result of the fraudulent scheme.
Four of Sharma’s co-conspirators, Ankur Sharma, Armughanul Asar, Harpreet Singh and Jamal Zafar have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Two other co-conspirators, Ricardo Urbino and Kamal Zafar are due on trial in March 2022.
“Today’s conviction demonstrates that defendants like Ajay Sharma, who commit transnational fraud schemes through lies and sowing fear among their victims, will be brought to justice and will pay for their crimes,” said US Attorney Breon Peace in a press release. “This case is the result of a coordinated law enforcement response to disrupt India-based fraudulent call centers and protect the public from financial abuse.”
The special agent in charge of IRS-CI New York, Thomas Fattorusso, said, “The IRS criminal investigation is determined to dismantle these criminal enterprises that victimize hard-working US citizens for personal gain. The IRS-CI will continue to protect our financial system from fraudsters, both abroad and at home. “