An Indian-origin man, who worked as a truck driver in the US, has been sentenced to 15 months in prison and fined $4,710 for money laundering and firearm offences.
According to a report by the US Department of Justice released on July 30, Lovepreet Singh was charged with acts supporting a conspiracy to defraud multiple victims as part of international tech support and telemarketing fraud scheme.
In March 2021, Lovepreet Singh, who resided and worked as a driver in Indianapolis, pled guilty to one count of money laundering in which he received and transmitted money obtained by his nine codefendants through a fraud scheme. He also confessed to one count of unlawful possession of a firearm, the report said.
According to the indictment and testimony in court, beginning in 2015 and continuing through 2018, Lovepreet Singh conspired with nine other defendants, located across the US and India, to commit the federal offences of wire fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud in addition to offences of money laundering, aggravated identity theft and passing fictitious obligations.
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Conspirators would obtain the telephone numbers and email addresses of computers belonging to various individuals throughout the US. They established and operated various business entities such as World Tech Assistance and US Support Inc., in Mississippi and elsewhere in the US.
Further, they engaged telephone calling centers in India, which would place calls to US numbers and appear to be coming from US-based toll-free numbers.
The conspirators used to pose as tech support staff of companies such as Apple and Microsoft. They used to call victims in the US, advising them that malware and ransomware were infecting their computers and offering assistance in return for payment.
“Victims responded to the conspirators’ phone calls and pop-up messages to send money and payments by wire, cheque and other means. Victims also granted conspirators access to the victims’ bank accounts and to the victims’ computers, permitting the conspirators to further enrich themselves by fraudulent appropriation and taking of the money and property of the victims,” the report said.
The victims sent money and payments to conspirators in Mississippi and in India. Conspirators in Mississippi would also send payments to their co-conspirators in India, the department said.
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