A trio of Tampa men are facing federal charges based on allegations that they masqueraded as loan agents and representatives of the Internal Revenue Service in an effort at defrauding people over the phone.
According to federal investigators, the trio conspired with call centers in India to extort individuals in the United States by posing as IRS agents and claiming their potential victims owed money to the federal government. Between 2014 and 2016 (and possibly beyond), the three allegedly collected significant amounts of cash via debit and credit card payments and wire transfers from individuals they convinced would be imprisoned should they not pay the purported fines.
Per prosecutors, the trio hired others to retrieve payments, either via wire payments or deposits into bank accounts established for the purpose, and tender such payments to them, generally less a fee for the services they rendered in collecting such fees.
The alleged fraud came to a sudden end late last month, when law enforcement executed a search warrant on the home of one of the defendants, allegedly turning up $50,000 in cash, a large number of wire receipts, and several electronic devices they say were used in the alleged fraud.
All three defendants are facing charges of aggravated identity theft, and substantive counts of wire fraud and extortion. Two of the three individuals also face charges of aggravated identity theft and aggravated identity theft. If convicted of wire fraud, extortion, or conspiracy of either, the defendants each face up to two decades in federal prison without parole.
The Law Offices of Bjorn Brunvand have been representing people charged with capital murder, felony drug charges, drunk driving, government fraud, and white-collar crimes for over a quarter century. Contact our office today to discuss your Tampa Bay-area state or federal charges.