Indian American from Chicago suburbs sentenced to federal prison for fraudulent telemarketing schemes


An Indian American Chicago suburban resident was sentenced last Friday to three years in federal prison for laundering cash proceeds from a telemarketing scheme that defrauded elderly victims.

According to the Justice Department, Hirenkumar Chaudhari used a fake 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.

Court documents revealed that the scheme involved phone calls from people falsely claiming to be associated with, among other agencies, the Social Security Administration and US 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, 29. He is a resident of Des Plaines, Illinois.

A retired nurse from Massachusetts was one his victims, prosecutors informed the court. She transferred more than $900,000 from her bank and retirement accounts to accounts controlled by Chaudhari or others.

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

“The defendant played a pivotal role in a telemarketing scheme by laundering money received directly from elderly victims,” said US Attorney Lausch. “We will continue to investigate, prosecute, and hold accountable anyone who attempts to scam elderly victims out of a peaceful retirement.”

“Crimes against the elderly target some of the most vulnerable people in society,” said Inspector in Charge William Hedrick for the US Postal Inspection Service. “The Inspection Service has been at the forefront of protecting customers from fraud schemes for many years and will continue to investigate and stop those who exploit older Americans for their own illegal gains.”

In a press release, the Justice Department issued an advisory stating, “If you believe you or someone you know is a victim of elder fraud, complaints may be filed with the Federal Trade Commission online at, or by calling 877-FTC-HELP.”