An Indian 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 the Department of Justice.
Lovepreet Singh of Indiana pleaded guilty in March to one count of money laundering, it said.
He admitted to receiving and transmitting money obtained by his co-defendants as a result of the fraud scheme, and one count of unlawful possession of a firearm, it said.
Mr Singh, who worked as a truck driver, was sentenced to 15 months in prison and filed USD 4,710 in restitution for money laundering and firearms offenses, the Department of Justice said on Friday.
According to the indictment and testimony in court, beginning in 2015 and continuing through 2018, Mr 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.
Conspirators would obtain the telephone numbers and email addresses of computers belonging to various individuals throughout the US, the Department of Justice said in a statement.
The conspirators established and operated various business entities such as World Tech Assistance and US Support Inc., in Mississippi and elsewhere in the US.
They engaged telephone calling centers in India, which would place calls to the US numbers and appear to be coming from US-based toll-free numbers.
They would call victims in the US, advising the victims that malware and ransomware were infecting the victims’ computers and devices, and that the victims should contact the conspirators for assistance, federal prosecutors alleged.
According to court documents, they 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 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,” it added.
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