Alien sentenced in Mississippi court for being part of international tech support and telemarketing fraud scheme
Published 6:44 am Monday, August 2, 2021
A former Jackson resident, who is an alien from India, was sentenced to serve 15 months in prison and pay $4,710 in restitution for money laundering and firearms offenses in a scheme where conspirators misrepresented themselves as technical support service providers and gained access to victims’ bank accounts and to victims’ computers.
An original indictment naming ten defendants in the United States and abroad, charged Lovepreet Singh, an Indian national then residing and working as an interstate truck driver based in Indianapolis, IN, with acts supporting a conspiracy defrauding multiple victims, as part of an international tech support and telemarketing fraud scheme
According to the indictment and testimony in court, beginning in 2015 and continuing through 2018, Singh conspired with nine other defendants, located across the United States and in India, to commit the federal offenses of wire fraud, mail fraud, and bank fraud, in addition to offenses of money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and passing fictitious obligations.
Conspirators in Mississippi and elsewhere would obtain the telephone numbers and email addresses of computers belonging to various individuals throughout the United States. Conspirators established and operated various business entities such as World Tech Assistance, and US Support Inc., in Mississippi and elsewhere in the United States. Conspirators engaged telephone calling centers in India, which would place calls to the United States numbers and appear to be coming from United States-based toll-free numbers. Conspirators would call victims in the United States, advising the victims that malware and ransomware were infecting the victims’ computers and devices, and that the victims should contact the conspirators for assistance.
Conspirators misrepresented themselves as “Apple Support” or “Microsoft” or other legitimate and known technical support services, and offered their assistance to remove the software, in return for payment. Victims responded to the conspirators’ phone calls and pop up messages to send monies and payments, by wire, check 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.
Victims sent money and payments to conspirators in Mississippi and in India. Conspirators in Mississippi would also send payments and monies to their co-conspirators in India.
In March, 2021, Singh pled guilty to one count of money laundering, in that Singh admitted to receiving and transmitting money obtained by his codefendants as a result of the fraud scheme, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm.
The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations with assistance from the United States Marshals Service who assisted with the nationwide search and arrests of defendants.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Theodore Cooperstein.