The lead defendant pleaded guilty Monday in a scheme to defraud Americans by impersonating federal agents and stealing more than $2 million.
Four others, including a Huntington resident, previously pleaded guilty.
Seth D. DuCharme, acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, announced the guilty plea to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
“Ajay Sharma and his crew perpetrated a sprawling, transnational fraud scheme
that preyed on unsuspecting victims’ fears that they were running afoul of the law,” DuCharme said. “This case makes clear that U.S. law enforcement will not stop at our borders to locate and vigorously prosecute criminals, whether foreign or domestic, who cause financial harm to others in the United States.”
Previously pleading guilty were: Jamal Zafar, 48, of Huntington, and Ankur Sharma, 25, Harpreet Singh, 33, and Armughanul Asar, 68, all of Queens.
Sharma, a citizen of India and the director and owner of APS Technology, a telemarketing call center located in New Delhi, faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as forfeiture of $1,005,421 and a fine of up to $2,500,000. Sharma has been detained since his arrest in October 2018.
Between January 2018 and September 2018, operating from call centers in India, the defendants targeted victims in the United States and falsely claimed to be employees of the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security
Administration or the Drug Enforcement Administration. The victims were told that they owed the government money and that they would be arrested if the debts were not promptly paid.