Chicago Man Sentenced to 32 Months for Acting as Money Courier in Fraud Scheme

For Immediate Release

U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Kentucky
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LONDON, Ky. An Indian national, most recently living in the Chicago area, Satishkumar Rameshchandra Patel, 39, has been sentenced to 32 months in federal prison, by U.S. District Judge Robert E. Wier, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.  He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $631,336.40.

According to his plea agreement, Patel’s co-conspirators reached out to victims across the United States to defraud them out of significant sums of money.  Often, Patel’s co-conspirators located in India reached out to victims by telephone and represented themselves to be government officials.  The co-conspirators would convince the victims they were in some sort of legal or financial trouble, and requested the victims send payment to relieve the trouble or protect the victims from losing their savings.  The victims, most of whom were in their late 60s or 70s, mailed cash shipments to fake names, at addresses in the Chicago area, in Central Kentucky, and elsewhere, where Patel and others would retrieve those packages.  Victims lost anywhere from $9,000 to $375,000 through the scheme.

Other fraud schemes emanating out of the India-based call center for which Patel was employed included tech support scams, where victims were defrauded into believing their computer security company had issued them refunds for products in error.  The victims were directed to the withdraw those excess refunds in cash and mail the cash to certain addresses located in the Chicago area and elsewhere in the United States, where Patel and others would retrieve those packages.  The fake refunds were anywhere from $9,000 to $20,000.

In total, court records show that 9 victims were associated to Patel’s actions, resulting in a restitution amount of $631,336.40.

Under federal law, Patel must serve 85 percent of his prison sentence; and upon his release, Patel will be under the supervision of the U.S. Probation Office for three years.

Patel was charged alongside Kalpeshkumar Rasikbhai Patel.  Anyone with additional information about this investigation and prosecution is urged to contact law enforcement, at the following: https://www.tigta.gov/hotline?type=IRSScamsandFraud.          

Carlton S. Shier, IV, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Kentucky; Michael Stansbury, Special Agent in Charge, FBI, Louisville Field Office; Rana Saoud, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigation, Nashville Field Office; Heather Mill, Acting Inspector General, Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration, and Gail Ennis, Inspector General, Social Security Administration – Office of the Inspector General, jointly announce the sentence.

The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the FBI, HSI, TIGTA, and SSA-OIG.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kate Dieruf.

This case is being prosecuted as part of the Department of Justice’s efforts to identify and prosecute those persons who facilitate elder financial exploitation.  The Department of Justice’s Elder Justice Mission – being carried out through the Kentucky Elder Justice Task Force – is to seek justice for victims of elder financial exploitation.  Anyone who knows someone who may be a victim of an elder financial exploitation, is encouraged to contact law enforcement.

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Top photo credit: Adobe Stock

https://www.justice.gov/usao-edky/pr/chicago-man-sentenced-32-months-acting-money-courier-fraud-scheme