HOUSTON – A 24-year-old Indian citizen has been taken into custody on charges related to a large nationwide conspiracy to commit mail fraud, announced U.S. Attorney Jennifer B. Lowery.
Anirudha Kalkote is set to make his initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Dena Hanovice Palermo at 2 p.m. He was incarcerated in Virginia and brought to Texas June 9 to face the charges.
The 12-count superseding indictment charges Kalkote with conspiracy and mail fraud. Also named in the indictment is MD Azad, 25, an illegal resident of Houston, who was originally charged in August 2020. He will appear again in court on the new charges in the near future.
The superseding indictment, returned June 9, accuses Azad and Kalkote of participating in a fraud ring from 2019-2020 which operated out of various cities including Houston. The scheme allegedly targeted elderly victims throughout the United States and elsewhere.
According to the charges, 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 to the fraudsters or by mailing cash to alias names via FedEx or UPS.
One such scheme allegedly involved the claim of providing computer technical support services. The indictment alleges that the scheme generally worked because fraudsters contacted victims by phone or via internet sites directing them to a particular phone…