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Indian woman deported from US for her role in $170,000 phone scam

A 25-year-old Indian woman in the US has been sentenced to three years' probation for money laundering and faces imminent deportation for her role in an $170,000 phone scam in which thousands of dolla

  • Published: January 31, 2016 12:41 PM IST
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A 25-year-old Indian woman in the US has been sentenced to three years’ probation for money laundering and faces imminent deportation for her role in an $170,000 phone scam in which thousands of dollars were netted from unwitting victims from 32 states. Also Read - Why it makes no sense to buy a Rs 15,000 phone in India right now

Nikita Patel worked as a “runner”, picking up money sent by people. She fooled people into believing that they owed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) back taxes, according to authorities. Also Read - Smartphone prices to increase further as global chip shortage crisis continues

She would take a cut for herself and then send the rest to India, where the fraudulent phone calls originated, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Brian Lynch said on Friday. Also Read - India's feature phone market crumbles as mass switches to smartphone

Patel was arrested with another runner, Akash S Patel last September. She has been sentenced to three years’ probation for a charge of money laundering on Friday by Superior Court Judge Susan J Steele who said that frauds like the one perpetrated by her seem to be an endemic problem.

Local prosecutors said scam involved 72 people in 32 states. Federal government has placed a deportation detainer on her. As a result she continues to be in jail.

The Patels were originally charged with conspiracy to commit theft by deception, a second-degree crime. Nikita later pleaded guilty to third-degree money laundering, a media report said. Akash, 33, pleaded guilty to a third-degree theft charge in November. He was also sentenced to probation, according to court records.

Lynch said yesterday that Akash, who is an Indian citizen, has since been deported.

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  • Published Date: January 31, 2016 12:41 PM IST



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