New York, Jun 29 (PTI) An Indian-origin man has been charged for his role in a conspiracy in which victims in America were contacted by individuals from India and falsely told that they owed money to federal tax collection agency in the US. Also Read - Aliens Exist & They Are Secretly in Touch With Israel & America, Claims Ex-Israeli Space Chief; Says Donald Trump Knows About It

Ashokkumar Patel, who also went by the name of Andy Patel, 28, of Illinois was indicted this month on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, two counts of wire fraud, and one count of money laundering. Also Read - Ahead of Christmas, Top US Scientist Fauci Warns of 'Surge Upon Surge' in COVID-19 Cases

He was arrested last year and charged by criminal complaint. He was released from custody on conditions. Also Read - Three Million Travellers, 172K Daily COVID-19 Cases: US' Wild Thanksgiving Week is Here

According to the charging documents, from December 2013 to October 2014, Patel was part of a conspiracy whereby victims in the US were contacted by individuals, primarily in India, and falsely told that they owed money to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

The victims were told that in order to avoid imminent arrest, they had to purchase MoneyPak, or other types of prepaid stored value cards, load thousands of dollars onto the cards and provide the serial numbers to the callers.

After doing so, the victims’ money was quickly transferred to prepaid debit cards, which were then used to purchase money orders. Patel was responsible for purchasing the prepaid debit cards, using them to purchase money orders and depositing the purchased money orders into various bank accounts, including his own.

The charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud each provide for a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of USD 250,000.

This is published unedited from the PTI feed.