US jails In­dian for 6 years over fraud

Col­lege in­tern Bish­wa­jeet Jha, 21, pro­vided tech sup­port to a tele­mar­ket­ing scheme that duped se­nior cit­i­zens

DNA (Daily News & Analysis) Mumbai Edition - - FRONT PAGE - —PTI

Washington: An In­dian col­lege in­tern in the US has been sen­tenced to five years in prison for pro­vid­ing tech sup­port to a tele­mar­ket­ing fraud scheme that duped about two dozen se­nior cit­i­zens of their re­tire­ment sav­ings amount­ing to nearly $1 mil­lion.

Bish­wa­jeet Ku­mar Jha, 21, the ring­leader of a group of In­dian col­lege stu­dents do­ing hos­pi­tal­ity in­dus­try in­tern­ships in the US, de­frauded the se­nior cit­i­zens aged be­tween 58 years to 93 years.

The vic­tims were duped of their re­tire­ment sav­ings rang­ing be­tween $1,180 and $174,300, the De­part­ment of Jus­tice said on Mon­day.

Jha will face de­por­ta­tion pro­ceed­ings upon the com­ple­tion of his term of in­car­cer­a­tion, it said.

Over three months, the con­spir­acy de­frauded in­di­vid­u­als of at least $937,280, ac­cord­ing to jus­tice de­part­ment of­fi­cials.

Fed­eral pros­e­cu­tors al­lege that the nearly two dozen vic­tims, who be­lieved that they had pur­chased tech­nol­ogy sup­port, were led to be­lieve that money had been er­ro­neously re­funded to their bank ac­counts by the tech sup­port com­pany.

The vic­tims were asked to re­turn the er­ro­neous re­fund and di­rected to send the money

to the de­fen­dant and oth­ers. Some of the vic­tims were told to send the money over­seas.

The tele­mar­ket­ing scam was in­ter­rupted by New­port Po­lice on Novem­ber 20, 2018, when, as part of the in­ves­ti­ga­tion, de­tec­tives ex­e­cuted a court-au­tho­rised search of the res­i­dence of Jha and the other

mem­bers of the con­spir­acy.

A sub­se­quent in­ves­ti­ga­tion de­ter­mined that after the co­con­spir­a­tors op­er­at­ing in New­port shared some of the pro­ceeds of the scheme, large sums of money gar­nered from the scheme were trans­ferred to a bank ac­count in Cal­i­for­nia.

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