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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A McLean man was sentenced today to 3 years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to defraud more than 1,300 victims out of $1.6 million in a scam at the health center. calls.

According to court documents, 33-year-old Bruhaspaty Prasad conspired with several other mostly India-based people at a call center to implement a technical assistance program that primarily concerned elderly victims. The defendant’s co-conspirators contacted the victims through unsolicited phone calls and pop-up notifications on their computers, claiming, in part, that the victims needed help removing malware from their computers. . In other cases, call center employees pretended to be associated with companies like Amazon and Microsoft and falsely led victims to believe that there were problems with their online accounts. Victims were tricked into signing contracts for technical assistance services that were never rendered. Once victims agreed to pay for services, they were frequently re-contacted for additional services and charged additional fees.

Prasad, as the main conspirator based in the United States, was responsible for the creation of several companies that were supposed to offer technical support to customers. During the conspiracy, Prasad opened three businesses in the Commonwealth of Virginia, all of which received proceeds fraudulently obtained from the scheme. Prasad was the sole signatory on the bank accounts of the entities he created. He was also responsible for transferring a significant portion of the fraud proceeds to his co-conspirators in India. Prasad continued to operate these businesses and obtain funds for the victims even after personally receiving several complaints and negative reviews online. Rather than shut down the business completely, Prasad continued to open businesses to allow the fraud scheme to continue.

From April 2016 to September 2021, more than 1,300 people were scammed. The victims suffered losses totaling more than $1.6 million.

Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and Wayne A. Jacobs, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, made the announcement following the sentencing by U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton.

Amazon provided law enforcement with substantial assistance during the investigation.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jamar K. Walker and Kaitlin Cooke prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release can be found on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Court documents and related information can be found on the website of the district court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER looking for case #1:22-cr-40.