Desi News

Two men of Indian origin among 3 defendants, plus India-based call center indicted in phone scam targeting U.S. victims

Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma, Julliette Belle Carter, Kunal Jagdishbhai Sharma, and a call-center named Skyz International Outsourcing BPO have been indicted for their alleged involvement in a transnational criminal organization that targeted United States residents through a scheme that led victims to believe they owed taxes and fees to the Internal Revenue Service.

The indictment charges Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma, Julliette Belle Carter, Kunal Jagdishbhai Sharma, and Skyz International Outsourcing BPO with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud, according to a March 12 press release from the Department of Justice’ U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.

The indictment also charges Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma and Julliette Belle Carter with conspiracy to commit money laundering.

The defendants are presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove the defendants’ guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.

Carter was arrested in Canada following an extradition request.  In connection with the scheme, two other defendants and a call center in India were also charged for their alleged involvement, according to the press release.

“IRS phone schemes profit by victimizing United States residents, including vulnerable members of our community,” said U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia Byung J. “BJay” Pak.

The Inspector General for the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA), J. Russell George, said that “since 2013, IRS impersonation scams have been on a relentless path, claiming more than 15,000 victims who have lost upwards of $74 Million to the scammers.”

According to U.S. Attorney Pak, the charges, and other information presented in court: The indictment alleges that the defendants were involved in a sophisticated international telephone scheme.  Using lists of U.S. residents’ personal identifiable information, co-conspirators allegedly called potential victims while impersonating officials from the Internal Revenue Service.

The callers would then threaten potential victims with prosecution or arrest if they did not pay alleged tax debts immediately, the charges allege.  After the victims agreed to pay, the callers would instruct the victims to send the money electronically using banks or money transmitters, such as MoneyGram, to defendants Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma, Julliette Belle Carter, and others.  Victims, including residents of Georgia, believed the threats and sent money, the press release notes.  Defendants Mohit Devendrabhai Sharma and Julliette Belle Carter retrieved the fraud proceeds from various MoneyGram locations in states such as Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, and Wisconsin, the charges and other information presented in court, allege.

Share