The three defendants, together with co-conspirators operating from call centers in India, allegedly targeted victims in the U.S., and falsely claimed to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration or the Drug Enforcement Administration.
By Forum Staff
An indictment was unsealed Monday in federal court in Central Islip charging three men, including a Queens resident, for their roles in a transnational fraud scheme that netted the suspects more than $2 million, according to prosecutors.
Armughanul Asar, 68, who lives in College Point; Kamal Zafar, 51, from South Huntington, L.I.; and Jamal Zafar, 48, who resides in Huntington, have been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money in furtherance of their fraudulent scheme directed at thousands of individuals in the United States.
As alleged in the indictment, between January 2018 and September 2018, the defendants, together with co-conspirators operating from call centers in India, targeted victims in the United States, and falsely claimed to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration or the Drug Enforcement Administration. The victims were informed that they owed a sum of money to the U.S. government or one of its agencies and that they would be arrested if the debts were not promptly paid. After victims wired payments to bank accounts that the defendants had opened in the names of inactive and shell corporations to receive the fraud proceeds, the funds were withdrawn and laundered through additional bank accounts. The scheme is estimated to have netted more than $2 million from victims across the country.
“These indictments reflect the lengths that criminals will go in order to fraudulently separate honest people from their hard-earned money,” said City Police Commissioner Jim O’Neill.
If convicted, the defendants face up to 20 years’ imprisonment.