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ALEXANDRIA, Va. – An Indian national was sentenced today to over a year in prison for his role in defrauding hundreds of people of at least $150,000.

“Anikkhan Yusufkhan Pathan participated in an international fraud scheme that victimized 200 hard-working Americans,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Pathan’s conspirators located in India exploited victims who were trying to pay mortgages and apply for loans. Individuals should not have to be worried about being scammed when trying to complete basic, and essential, financial tasks. The United States Attorney’s Office will continue to work tirelessly with our law enforcement partners to investigate and prosecute those individuals who commit fraud and seek to profit from the financial hardship they cause their victims.”

According to court documents, Pathan, 29, while in this country on a student visa, conspired with individuals in India to defraud approximately 200 people located throughout the United States. In many cases, the conspirators identified people who had recently applied for a loan from a bank. In other cases, the conspirators learned which mortgage company held the deed to a victim’s home or claimed to represent a company the victim had recently done business with. In every case, the conspirators then tricked their victims into sending money to fictitious identities using money transfer services like MoneyGram and Western Union. Pathan used at least 67 fake IDs, each bearing the name of a different fictitious identity and his photograph, to collect the victim’s money from money transfer services throughout northern Virginia.

“The Office of the Inspector General continues its commitment to working with our law enforcement partners to investigate criminal schemes aimed at taking advantage of American Taxpayers,” said Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

As part of the scheme, Pathan kept a portion of the victim’s money for himself and deposited the balance into bank accounts of unknown individuals or wire transferred the money to conspirators located in India. From April to September 2017, during the course of over 200 transactions, Pathan collected $150,000 sent by hundreds of victims located around the country.

G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, and Joseph V. Cuffari, Inspector General for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge Liam O’Grady. Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael C. Tucker and Assistant U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick prosecuted the case.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:20-cr-20.

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