Indian telemarketing fraudster pleads guilty in Rhode Island

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An Indian national admitted to a federal judge in Providence that he participated in a wide-ranging conspiracy based in India to defraud United States citizens, primarily seniors.

Himanshu Asri, 33, of Delhi, admitted on Dec. 3, 2020, to the fraud which involved telling victims falsely that malware had been detected on their computers and induced the victims to direct money to him and his co-conspirators as payment for computer protection services that were not needed or ever provided.

He is scheduled to be sentenced on February 18, 2021. Wire fraud conspiracy is punishable by statutory penalties of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.

Asri admitted that he had 325 callers routed to call centers in India from where the fraud calls were made. Appearing before U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., on Dec. 3, Asri pleaded guilty to wire fraud conspiracy.

According to information presented to the court, from as far back as January 2015, through January 2020, Asri and others working together collected, in total, approximately $940,995 from victims through their fraud, and attempted to collect between $1,500,000 and $3,000,000, a Dec. 3 press release from the U.S. Attorney for the District of Rhode Island.

The FBI conducted the investigation.

Asri is the 4th India-based telemarketing fraudster to be convicted in federal court in Rhode Island in the past three months, the press release said.

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