Two Huntington men were arrested Monday on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and to launder money in what federal prosecutors called a transnational fraud scheme.
Kamal Zafar, 51, and Jamal Zafar,48, both of Huntington and a third man, Armughanul Asar, 68, of College Point, took more than $2 million from their victims across the country by impersonating federal employees, the indictment said.
The indictment said that between January 2018 and September 2018, the
defendants, together with co-conspirators operating from call centers in India, targeted victims in the United States, and falsely claimed to be employees of the IRS, the Social Security Administration or the Drug Enforcement Administration.
The victims were told that they owed money to the United States government or one of its agencies and that they would be arrested if the debts were not promptly paid. After victims wired payments to bank accounts that the defendants had opened in the names of inactive and shell corporations to receive the fraud proceeds, the funds were withdrawn and laundered through additional bank accounts.
“The defendants’ transnational fraud scheme utilized callers falsely claiming to be federal employees and threatening arrest to extract payment from their victims,” United States Attorney Richard P. Donoghue said. “This office, together with our federal and local law enforcement partners, will continue working tirelessly to hold accountable scam artists who perpetrate telephone frauds.”
“These defendants remotely used ruthless scare tactics and threatened innocent
citizens including the elderly, widows, and professionals under the guise of having to pay off unfounded financial obligations to the U.S. government for their own personal gain,” stated IRS- CI Special Agent-in-Charge Jonathan Larsen. “IRS-CI will continue to apprehend those who victimize the public while posing as government officials both abroad and here at home.”The government’s case is being handled by the Office’ Long Island Criminal Division. Assistant United States Attorneys Charles P. Kelly and Diane Leonardo are in charge of the prosecution.
The case is being heard in federal court in Central Islip.