A 27-year-old Indian national illegally living in Houston has pleaded guilty to the charges of playing a role in a nationwide tech support refund scam, a US attorney said Thursday.

Sumit Kumar Singh, who admitted to participating in a fraud ring from 2018 – 2020 which operated out of various cities, including Houston, faces up to 20 years in federal prison and a possible USD250,000 fine.

His sentencing is scheduled for December 20. He will remain in custody while awaiting sentencing.

According to court papers, the ring tricked and deceived victims using various ruses and instructed them to send money via wire through a money transmitter business such as Western Union or MoneyGram, by buying gift cards and providing them to the fraudsters and by mailing cash to alias names via FedEx or UPS.

“One such scheme involved the claim of providing computer technical support services in order to gain remote access to victims’ computers. The fraud ring tricked and deceived victims into believing a technical support company purportedly helped them with their computers,” federal prosecutors said.

They then told the victims they had erroneously refunded or overpaid them and that the victim needed to return the overpayment in cash via FedEx or UPS, the prosecutors alleged.

According to the Department of Justice, the scheme generally worked because fraudsters contacted victims by phone or via internet sites directing them to a particular phone number.

Once victims contacted them,…

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