A former Massachusetts man who tried to flee to Canada to avoid a prison sentence for his role in a phone scam that bilked area residents out of hundreds of thousands of dollars has been ordered to pay more than $250,000 in restitution.
Ashokkumar “Andy” Patel, formerly of Worcester, was responsible for helping steal more than $880,000, but the identities of many victims could not be traced, prosecutors said in federal court Tuesday, The Telegram & Gazette reported.
Patel’s lawyer, Vikas Dhar, said Patel made less than $50,000 for his role in the scheme.
Patel pleaded guilty last September to wire fraud and money laundering for his role in a complicated scheme in which foreign callers duped people into sending them money by posing as IRS debt collectors.
He was sentenced to more than three years in prison.
But before he started serving the sentence, he was apprehended by Canadian authorities in October on the Canada-Washington border after diving into a ditch. He was indicted in November for contempt of court in connection with the alleged escape attempt.
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