Hiteshkumar Patel, 52, of South Abington, Pennsylvania, was sentenced on Aug. 9, to just over nineteen years in prison, after pleading guilty to charges of aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit fraud.
The maximum jail time Patel faced for this type of offense is twenty years. The nineteen-year sentence to be served by him speaks volumes about the egregiousness of his crimes. In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Robert D. Mariani ordered that Patel be supervised for three years following his release from prison and that he pay restitution in the amount of $896,112.33, according to the press release from the Office of the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.
Patel pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, as well as aggravated identity theft in November 2017. The investigation revealed that beginning in or about August 2015 through May 2016, Patel was involved in a multi-faceted international conspiracy and devised a scheme to defraud that included individuals who falsely represented themselves as Internal Revenue Service (IRS) agents, as well as individuals associated with an illegitimate online loan business.
The investigation identified 634 individuals directly tied to Patel’s criminal conduct from across the country, according to the press release. These individuals instructed customers to make irregular filing payments for application processing. Victims of the operation were also told that they had accrued outstanding debt or penalty fees that needed immediate attention; they were told that if they did not pay the IRS, their wages could be garnished, their employers notified, and their homes raided.
The investigation was conducted by the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Department of the Treasury – Treasury Inspector General, and the South Abington and Scranton Police Departments.