Crime

Architect of a scary IRS phone scam has made his last call for now

Anandkumar Nayee was sentenced to three years, four months in federal prison for running a phone scam that involved imitating IRS agents to scare victims into giving up money and identity information over the phone.
Anandkumar Nayee was sentenced to three years, four months in federal prison for running a phone scam that involved imitating IRS agents to scare victims into giving up money and identity information over the phone. File

Anandkumar Nayee moved from India to Miami during the two years and four months he and his cohorts spent scaring money out of people using an IRS phone-call scam.

Nayee, 27, will stay in Miami for another three years and four months, the length of his federal prison sentence after he pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

The scheme in basic form works on fear and ignorance. The target answers his phone to someone claiming to be from “Internal Revenue Services” (instead of “Internal Revenue Service”) or “IRS” (instead of “The IRS”). The caller comes on like a debt collection agent, telling people they owe money to “IRS” and need to make immediate payment — as in right then and there, over the phone — or face serious consequences. In the process, the caller also tries to get the target to give up personal identification information (Social Security number, birthdate.).

Nayee admits in court documents that his scheme, run with Abhijeetsinh Jadeja from January 2014 through May 2016, showed diversity in duplicity by telling some targets they owed fees on grants or loans they received.

“Nayee’s co-conspirators instructed the victims to deposit payments related to the taxes or fees that they purportedly owed onto debit cards and into bank accounts controlled by Nayee and his co-conspirators,” Nayee’s factual proffer statement (an admission of facts) says. “Nayee and his co-conspirators then received and retained the victim’s payments.”

From the court documents, here’s how Nayee and Jadeja moved money in the scheme:

“...On Feb. 12, 2014, Jadeja purchased the Green Dot prepaid debit card ending in 6653. That same day, Jadeja sent the full prepaid debit card number ending in 6653 to Nayee. Within 15 minutes, Nayee caused the prepaid debit card number ending in 6653 to be registered in the name of “G.Y.,'' who was a real person, using G.Y.'s name, date of birth, and Social Security number, and without G.Y.'s permission...

“The prepaid debit card number ending in 6653 was then funded by a victim of the telephone fraud scheme. Based on instructions provided by Nayee, on Feb. 12, 2014, Jadeja then used the Green Dot prepaid debit card ending in 6653 to withdraw $2,009.45 of victim funds in Miami...”

Just in January and February of 2014, Jadeja put $94,000 callers conned out of victims into Nayee and cronies’ accounts. Nayee moved to Miami in November 2015 and, from March to May 2016, personally picked up $19,000 victims sent by money transfer. This year, Jadeja picked up $45,000 sent by money transfer and put them into bank accounts Nayee picked.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal

  Comments