A 25-year-old Indian woman faces deportation for her role in a fraud in which victims were forced to pay money they were fooled into believing they owed the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
The woman, Nikita Patel, was a “runner”, who collected the money paid by the victims, kept a cut for herself and wired the rest to accomplices based in India, US authorities said on Friday.
Patel was sentenced to three years probation by a New Jersey judge on Friday, and marked for deportation. Her accomplice here, Akash Patel, also Indian, has been deported already.
Nikita was found staying in the US on expired visa. Local Bergen County prosecutor Brian Lynch has said he will work hard to see that she is sent back to India. Both the Patels — they are not related — were arrested in September 2015 and found guilty as charged in a $170,000 IRS phone scam that claimed 70 victims in 32 states.
A victim from Kentucky tipped off New Jersey police last September, according to news reports. He was told he owed the IRS $1,400 and would be arrested if he didn’t pay up.
He was directed to wire that amount to an account with MoneyGram, a money transfer company, in the name of “Vincent Arora”, who turned out to be Akash Patel. He had made 30 other such transactions, MoneyGram told authorities. htc