Indian pleads guilty in telemarketing scam in US




An Indian national has pleaded guilty to the charges of participating in an India-based telemarketing scheme to try to embezzle about USD 600,000 from seven elderly people in America.

Chirag Sachdeva, 30, has been held since he was arrested by FBI agents on February 16 as he got off a plane in Boston after a flight from India.

He admitted to US District Court Chief Judge John J McConnell Jr that he tried to misappropriate funds from bank accounts of victims, each of them older than 65 years, across the US, using personal and banking information obtained from them in the course of an India-based telemarketing scheme, US Department of Justice said in a statement on

While executing the scheme, call center operators in India obtained personal and banking information from victims’ computers through remote access applications and from the victims directly. Sachdeva admitted that he later attempted to use the personal and banking information to misappropriate funds from the victims’ bank accounts, it said.

Sachdeva admitted that he contacted an acquaintance in Rhode Island and enlisted him to assist in accessing and stealing funds from the victims’ bank accounts.

According to court documents, an FBI investigation determined that Sachdeva provided his acquaintance with personal and banking information sufficient to enable online access into the accounts of at least seven individuals, each over the age of 65.

The investigation determined that the intended loss to these victims totalled USD 600,000, the statement said.

Sachdeva did not know it, but his acquaintance in Rhode Island was assisting the FBI in an investigation into the fraud scheme.

Appearing on Monday, Sachdeva pleaded guilty to seven counts of wire fraud, said United States Attorney Aaron L Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.

Sachdeva, who has been detained since his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced on December 8. Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of USD 250,000.