Indian woman arrested in phone scam in US


Washington: An Indian woman was sentenced to three years’ probation for money laundering. 25-year-old Nikita Patel now faces imminent deportation. She is accused of playing the part in a phone scam. Thousands of dollars were netted from the victims across 32 stated in this 170,000 USD phone scam.

She had worked as a “runner’’, her job was to pick up the money sent by people. Authorities said that she fooled everyone into believing that they were owning the Internal Revenue Services(IRS) back taxes.

She used to cut a deal for herself and then send the rest to India. All the fraudulent phone calls were originated in India, Assistant Bergen County Prosecutor Brian Lynch said on Friday.

Another runner Akash S Patel was arrested with Nikita. Superior Court Judge Susan J Steele said that frauds like this perpetrated by her seem to be an endemic problem. She sentenced Nikita Patel to three years’ probation for a charge of money laundering on Friday.

The scam involved 72 people in 32 states, said the local prosecutors.

A deportation detainer was placed on her by the Federal government and as a result, she continues to be in jail.

The original charges on the ‘’runner’’ duo were the conspiracy to commit theft by deception. It is considered a second-degree crime. Nikita had pleaded guilty to third-degree money laundering according to the media reports.

Courts records stated that Akash pleaded guilty to a third-degree theft charge in November. He is also sentenced to probation and he has been since then deported.(Inputs from agencies)