Indian man pleads guilty to telemarketing fraud on U.S. seniors

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Photo showing a senior of Indian origin, checking the computer from Justice.gov section on finding help for seniors. (https://www.justice.gov/elderjustice/find-support-elder-abuse)

An Indian national admitted in court that he sought to misappropriate funds from bank accounts of victims across the United States.

A Sept. 15, 2020 press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office from the District of Rhode Island, said Chirag Sachdeva admitted that he sought to use personal and banking information obtained from the victims earlier in the course of an India-based telemarketing scheme.

Sachdeva, 30, admitted that he participated in a telemarketing scheme that offered victims supposed computer protection services after misleading them to believe that malware had been detected on their computers.

While carrying out the scheme, call center operators in India obtained personal and banking information from victims’ computers through remote access applications and from the victims directly.

Sachdeva admitted that he later attempted to use the personal and banking information to misappropriate funds from the victims’ bank accounts.

Sachdeva also admitted that he contacted an acquaintance in Rhode Island and enlisted him to help access and steal funds from the victims’ bank accounts.

According to court documents, an FBI investigation determined that Sachdeva provided his acquaintance with personal and banking information sufficient to enable online access into the accounts of at least seven individuals, each over the age of 65. The investigation determined that the intended loss to these victims totaled $600,000.

Sachdeva did not know that this ‘acquaintance’ in Rhode Island was helping the FBI in an investigation into the telemarketing fraud scheme. Sachdeva was arrested by FBI agents on February 16, 2020, as he deplaned in Boston from a flight from India.

Appearing on Sept. 14, 2020,  before U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Sachdeva pleaded guilty to seven counts of wire fraud, announced United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

Sachdeva, who has been detained since his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 8, 2020.

Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

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