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Twenty-one people sentenced in India-based IRS scam

Posted: 3:54 PM, Jul 25, 2018
Updated: 2018-07-25 16:54:16-04

With stiff sentences for 21 conspirators last week in the United States and a round of indictments in India, the Justice Department says it has broken up what appeared to be the nation’s first large-scale, multinational telephone fraud operation, the New York Times reports. Over four years, more than 15,000 victims in the United States lost “hundreds of millions” of dollars to the sophisticated scam, and more than 50,000 individuals had their personal information misused, the department said Friday. The money was routed through call centers in India back to the ringleaders in eight states, the Times reports. The fraudulent calls came suddenly and frequently while the scam was active from 2012 to 2016, according to court documents. A person posing as an Internal Revenue Service or immigration official was on the phone, threatening arrest, deportation or other penalties if the victims did not immediately pay their debts with prepaid cards or wire transfers, the Times reports. The calls targeted the most vulnerable Americans, including immigrants and older people; an 85-year old woman in San Diego paid $12,300 to people claiming to be I.R.S. employees who threatened her with arrest for tax violations.To read the entire NYT article, click here.