- California-based Angad Singh Chandhok, 34, operated a long-running and complex money-laundering network by creating and using shell companies to move millions of dollars stolen.
Angad Singh Chandhok, an Indian national who played a critical role in a scheme that defrauded elderly Americans has been sentenced to six years in federal prison, followed by three years of federal supervised release. The 34-year-old who lived in California had sought asylum to the U.S. from India, the Department of Justice said in a press release.
Chandok operated a long-running and complex money-laundering network by creating and using shell companies to move millions of dollars stolen from Americans through an online tech support scheme, and later an online travel fee scheme. He had at least five others working under his direction, and “was in direct contact with high-ranking international members of the scheme,” the DOJ said.
He pleaded guilty on Aug. 19, 2019, to conspiracy to launder criminal proceeds. He is wanted in India for fraud, and “he was an international fugitive from justice at the time he engaged in his sophisticated money laundering activities here in the United States,” the DOJ said.
According to court documents, Indian students who were present in the U.S. on visas, including four in Newport, Rhode Island, received funds from victims of the tech support scheme. They then transferred the funds to accounts controlled by Chandhok for further laundering. “The money laundering business provided an essential link between the participants of the fraud scheme in the United States and others who were operating internationally,” the DOJ said.
According to information presented to the court, Chandhok’s criminal activity spanned two years, during which time he “cleaned” at least more than $1.5 million. The government’s evidence showed that in just one month he laundered nearly $930,000.
“It is the sad reality that, each and every day, fraudsters all over the world target vulnerable and elderly Americans in efforts to trick them out of their savings and livelihoods; sophisticated criminals like Mr. Chandhok are an essential part of these fraud schemes,” United States Attorney Zachary A. Cunha noted.