- Hirenkumar P. Chaudhari, 27, used a phony Indian passport, false name, and false address to open multiple bank accounts in the U.S. to receive money from victims.
An Illinois man has pleaded guilty in federal court to laundering cash proceeds from a telemarketing scheme that defrauded elderly victims. Hirenkumar P. Chaudhari, 27, of Des Plaines, pleaded guilty on Jan. 6, to one count of money laundering. If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in federal prison. U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis set sentencing for April 1.
Chaudhari admitted in a plea agreement that he used a phony Indian passport, false name, and false address to open multiple bank accounts in the United States to receive money from victims of the telemarketing scheme, according to a Department of Justice press release.
The scheme involved phone calls from people falsely claiming to be associated with, among other agencies, the Social Security Administration and U.S. Department of Justice, stating that a victim’s identity had been stolen and that it was necessary to transfer money to various bank accounts, including the accounts opened by Chaudhari.
One of the victims was an elderly woman from Massachusetts who transferred more than $900,000 from her bank and retirement accounts to accounts controlled by Chaudhari or others, the press release said.
On April 19, 2018, a day after Chaudhari opened an account and received a $7,000 transfer from the Massachusetts victim, entered a bank branch in Chicago and withdrew $6,500. In the plea agreement, “he admitted that he engaged in this financial transaction knowing that the money represented proceeds of unlawful activity,” the press release said.