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January 31, 2018

Four Individuals Charged and Arrested in IRS Impersonation Scam

On November 30, 2017, the Department of Justice, United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, announced that four individuals had been charged in a scheme involving the impersonation of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) employees. Nakul Chetiwal, Parvez Jiwani, Moin Gohil, and Pratik Patel were each charged via criminal complaint and were subsequently arrested by Federal and local law enforcement,1 including agents of the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration.

According to one of the criminal complaints, Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani were identified as "runners," who used fraudulent identification to pick up fraud proceeds for the scheme. Patel aided and abetted at least one of the runners.2

As part of the scheme, unknown members called victims and made misrepresentations to them, typically stating that they owed taxes, and caused the victims to wire money through a wire service such as MoneyGram. One such victim received a phone call from an individual claiming to be employed by the IRS and stating that the individual had been audited for the past three years and needed to pay $4,700 to the IRS in order to avoid being arrested, taken to court, and having a hold put on his Social Security.3

Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani utilized fraudulent identities to pick up payments wired from victims. The three received a total of $666,537 from 784 victims between January 25, 2016 and August 8, 2017. The coconspirators were identified picking up money transfers in a number of States, including Wisconsin, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Virginia, and North Carolina. The false identities used by Gohil, Chetiwal, and Jiwani are potentially linked to an additional 6,530 fraudulent transactions totaling more than $2.8 million.4

Additional legal proceedings are anticipated.

    1 E.D. Wis. DOJ Press Release issued Nov. 22, 2017.
    2 Id.
    3 E.D. Wis. Crim. Compl. Filed Nov. 22, 2017.
    4 Id.