Washington: An Indian-American has been sentenced to three years of imprisonment in the US for laundering cash proceeds from a telemarketing scheme that defrauded senior citizens.
Hirenkumar P Chaudhari, 29, of Illinois pleaded guilty last year to a federal money laundering charge, said John R Lausch, US Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, as he announced the sentencing on Thursday.
Chaudhri played a pivotal role in a telemarketing scheme by laundering money received directly from elderly victims, he said.
According to federal prosecutors, Chaudhari used a phony Indian passport, false name, and false address to open multiple bank accounts in the US to receive money from victims of the telemarketing scheme.
The scam involved phone calls from people falsely claiming to be associated with, among other agencies, the Social Security Administration and US Department of Justice, stating that a victim’s identity had been stolen and that it was necessary to transfer money to various bank accounts, including the accounts opened by Chaudhari.
“One of the victims was a retired nurse from Massachusetts who transferred a total of more than USD 900,000 from her bank and retirement accounts to accounts controlled by Chaudhari or others, the Department of Justice said.
On April 19, 2018, a day after Chaudhari opened an account and received a USD 7,000 transfer from the Massachusetts victim, he entered a bank branch in Chicago and withdrew USD 6,500. Chaudhari engaged in this financial transaction knowing that the money represented proceeds of unlawful activity, it said.
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