PROVIDENCE — An Indian national has admitted to a federal court judge that he sought to steal from bank accounts of victims across the United States, using personal and banking information stolen during an India-based computer virus scam.
Chirag Sachdeva, 30, admitted participating in a telemarketing scheme that offered victims supposed computer protection services after tricking them into thinking malware had been detected on their computers, United States Attorney Aaron L. Weisman’s office reported. While executing the scheme, call center operators in India obtained personal and banking information from victims’ computers through remote access applications and from the victims directly.
Sachdeva admitted that he later attempted to use the personal and banking information to misappropriate funds from the victims’ bank accounts.
Sachdeva told authorities he contacted an acquaintance in Rhode Island and enlisted him to assist in accessing and stealing funds from the victims’ bank accounts. According to court documents, an FBI investigation determined that Sachdeva provided his acquaintance with personal and banking information sufficient to enable online access into the accounts of at least seven individuals, each over the age of 65. The investigation determined that the intended loss to these victims totaled $600,000.
Unbeknownst to Sachdeva, his acquaintance in Rhode Island was assisting the FBI in an investigation into the telemarking fraud scheme. Sachdeva was arrested by FBI agents on February 16, 2020, as he deplaned in Boston from a flight from India.
Appearing on Monday before U.S. District Court Chief Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., Sachdeva pleaded guilty to seven counts of wire fraud, announced Weisman and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division Joseph R. Bonavolonta.
Sachdeva, who has been detained since his arrest, is scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 8, 2020. Wire fraud is punishable by up to 20 years in federal prison, 3 years’ supervised release, and a fine of $250,000.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Milind M. Shah.