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Indian American man sentenced to 3 years in federal prison for elder fraud

NRI Pulse Staff Report

Chicago, IL, August 1, 2022: An Indian American man was sentenced recently to three years in federal prison for laundering cash proceeds from a telemarketing scheme that defrauded elderly victims.

Hirenkumar P. Chaudhari, 29, of Des Plaines, a Chicago suburb used a phony Indian passport, false name, and false address to open multiple bank accounts in the United States to receive money from victims of the telemarketing scheme.  The scheme involved phone calls from people falsely claiming to be associated with, among other agencies, the Social Security Administration and U.S. Department of Justice, stating that a victim’s identity had been stolen and that it was necessary to transfer money to various bank accounts, including the accounts opened by Chaudhari. 

One of the victims was a retired nurse from Massachusetts who transferred a total of more than $900,000 from her bank and retirement accounts to accounts controlled by Chaudhari or others.  On April 19, 2018 – one day after Chaudhari opened an account and received a $7,000 transfer from the Massachusetts victim – Chaudhari entered a bank branch in Chicago and withdrew $6,500.  Chaudhari engaged in this financial transaction knowing that the money represented proceeds of unlawful activity.

Chaudhari pleaded guilty last year to a federal money laundering charge.  In addition to the three-year prison sentence, U.S. District Judge Sara L. Ellis ordered Chaudhari to pay $6,500 in restitution to the Massachusetts victim.

The sentence was announced by John R. Lausch, Jr., United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois.  The case was investigated by the U.S. Treasury Department Inspector General for Tax Administration, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Social Security Administration Inspector General, and Homeland Security Investigations. 

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kartik K. Raman and Rick D. Young.

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