Six Indians found involved in financial fraud in US

WASHINGTON: One Indian national has been sentenced to more than 15 years in prison for committing large scale financial frauds in the United States and elsewhere while five others await sentencing, the US Justice Department said.

Their victims included elderly US citizens of Pakistani and Indian origin. The leader and some members of this gang lived illegally in the United States.

MD Azad, 26, admitted participating in a fraud ring from 2019-2020 which operated out of various US cities including Houston and targeted hundreds of elderly citizens. On Aug 10, US District Judge Kenneth Hoyt ordered Azad to serve 188 months in federal prison.

Like Azad, five other Indian citizens — Anirudha Kalkote, 26, Sumit Kumar Singh, 26, Himanshu Kumar, 26, and MD Hasib, 27 — also pleaded guilty after being charged with financial fraud.

All five will remain in custody, pending sentencing.

At the hearing, the prosecution described Azad as the US-based ringleader working with a call centre in India.

The court noted the many letters and victim impact statements it had read during the hearing showed the financial devastation to elderly and vulnerable victims throughout the US because of this fraud scheme.

“The victims in this case were devastated, financially and otherwise,” said Alamdar S. Hamdani, US Attorney for the Southern District of Texas.

“This fraud ring repeatedly preyed on elderly and vulnerable people in the United States who spoke of threats of bodily harm if they did not comply with demands for more money.”

A justice department statement said the ring tricked and deceived victims using various ruses and instructed them to send money via wire through a money transmitter business by buying gift cards and providing them to the fraudsters or by mailing cash to alias names via FedEx or UPS.