Alleged ringleader of IRS scam arrested

Police in India have arrested who they believe to be the ringleader of a network of IRS call centers that allegedly tricked Americans out of millions of dollars.

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According to CNN, Sagar Thakkar, 24, was detained in Mumbai after arriving on a flight from Dubai on Saturday.

Mukund Hatote, assistant commissioner of police in Thane, a city north of Mumbai, said Thakkar stands accused of extortion, cheating, impersonation, criminal conspiracy as well as violating India’s communications and tech laws.

“He was the mastermind of IRS scam call centers in the state of Maharashtra and one center in Ahmedabad,” said Hatote.

Last October, CNN reported Indian police raided nine calls centers and arrested more than 70 people on suspicion of posing as IRS agents to steal cash from U.S. citizens. The fake IRS agents used American accents to impersonate IRS agents and told Americans they owed back taxes and would risk arrest if they hung up or failed to pay up.

Indian police say they have charged more than 390 people in connection with the scheme, and more than 12 remain in jail.

“We are still investigating the total amount of money collected by Sagar Thakkar,” said Hatote. “During the initial stage of investigation, it was looking around $300 million.”

 

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