International call center scam stole $3.7M from victims, officials say

Seven of the suspects are from metro Atlanta, according to U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak’s office.

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Seven of the suspects are from metro Atlanta, according to U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak’s office.

Seven people from metro Atlanta were sentenced to prison for their roles in an international call center scheme that targeted elderly victims, law enforcement officials said.

The “sophisticated” operation was based in India and involved calling victims and impersonating officials from the Internal Revenue Service or offering fictitious payday loans, U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak’s office said Monday.

They threatened potential victims with arrest or fines if they did not pay penalties, resulting in over $3.7 million in losses from the victims, prosecutors said.

The U.S.-based suspects face sentences ranging between six months and nearly five years in prison. Many were ordered to pay restitution.

They were identified as: Mohamed Kazim Momin, 33, of Norcross; Mohmed Sozab Momin, 23, of Lawrenceville; Drue Kyle Riggins, 24, of Stone Mountain; Nicholas Alexander Deane, 26, of Tucker; Palak Kumar Patel, 30, of Clarkston and Devin Bradford Pope, 25, of Chamblee. An eighth suspect from Katy, Texas, Rodrigo Leon-Castillo, 46, was also convicted in the scheme.

“IRS and payday loan phone schemes seek to profit by exploiting United States citizens, including the elderly and most vulnerable members of our community,” Pak said in a statement. “As this case shows, we will prosecute companies and individuals in India and in this country who choose to steal from vulnerable victims.”

Prosecutors also indicted seven Indian nationals and charged them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. The government is seeking extradition of those suspects, Pak’s office said.

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