A 41-year-old Indian-American has been sentenced to more than three years in prison after he pleaded guilty to the possession of false identity documents and operating an unlicensed money transfer business.
Vimalkumar Trivedi’s fraud led to approximately $1.5 million in losses to the victims, the Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Indiana said.
The 46-month sentence was imposed by the US District Court Chief Judge Tanya Walton Pratt, who also ordered that Trivedi be supervised by the US Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison.
“These vicious crimes often devastate families and individuals victimised by these heartless thieves. The sentence in this case demonstrates that fraudsters seeking a quick buck will pay a heavy price for their crimes,” said US Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers.
According to court documents, from April 2017 through April 1, 2021, Trivedi defrauded multiple victims, including some elderly individuals, into sending cash to various locations, including Indianapolis via FedEx.
Trivedi and his co-conspirators in the US and India masqueraded as federal law enforcement agents and told the victims that their Social Security numbers had been found in connection with criminal activity, often narcotics trafficking.
The criminals stated that the victims would be arrested if they did not immediately withdraw large sums of cash and mail it to fictitious individuals.
Trivedi tracked the packages of money sent by fraud victims to the fictitious recipients and picked them up at multiple FedEx locations.
In each instance, he used a false identification document in the name of the listed package recipient.
“Trivedi was part of an imposter scam that used scare tactics and identity theft to scam innocent victims out of hard-earned money. Today’s sentence shows that such behavior will not be tolerated,” said Gail S Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration.
In total, Trivedi possessed at least 53 false identification documents, each with his picture but containing different identifying information.
He used these false identification documents to pick up at least 122 packages containing $901,124 in cash proceeds of the fraud.
Trivedi kept $60,000 stolen from victims for his own use and forwarded the remainder to his associates.
Through the investigation, law enforcement agents have identified and confirmed approximately 17 victims, identified approximately 50 other suspected victims, and approximately $1.5 million in losses to the victims.