AJC.COM – LOIS NORDER
By posing as tax officials, three Georgia men took part in a scheme that cheated thousands of people across the U.S. out of more than $3.5 million, federal officials allege.
Dunwoody residents Moin Gohil, 22, and Nakul Chetiwal, 27, and Tucker resident Parvez Jiwani, 39, are accused of using fake IDs to pick up $666,537 wired from 784 victims who thought they were paying the IRS. The false IDs the men used are also linked to 6,530 other fraudulent transactions totaling more than $2.8 million, prosecutors say.
Now, the three Georgia men, along with a 26-year-old Illinois man, Pratik Patel, are facing charges of wire fraud which could bring prison sentences of up to 20 years.
The scheme likely originated in India, federal prosecutors say. Callers would contact U.S. residents and tell them they owed back taxes to the IRS and must immediately wire money to pay the debts.