back to article Ever had a bogus call from someone claiming to be the IRS? A tax scam ringleader just got sent down for 20 years

The man who headed an international criminal call center racket that conned Americans into handing over tens of millions of dollars in the belief they were being chased for money by the US government has been jailed for 20 years. Indian citizen Hitesh Madhubhai Patel, who also went by the name Hitesh Hinglaj, was sentenced …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Who says crime doesn't pay?

    They claim he defrauded "tens of millions" from his victims, but is only on the hook to pay back less than a double digit amount?


    Please put him in a cell with someone whose mother was defrauded of her life savings & left destitute, so the cellmate can discuss their displeasure at the man's slap on the wrist.

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

      1. MrMerrymaker Silver badge

        Re: Who says crime doesn't pay?

        Why is how much he has left relevant? Just take it out on his jail time

        With your logic I could rob a Post Office, blow it all on bitter and cocaine* and plead I HAVE NO MONEY

        And evade justice!

        *One of these is much less likely than the soothing other

        1. katrinab Silver badge

          Re: Who says crime doesn't pay?

          Royal Mail are responsible for the vast majority of post office robberies in the UK, and didn’t even get a slap on the wrist.

          Search for “horizon” elsewhere on this site.

          1. dave 81

            Re: Who says crime doesn't pay?

            It pretty disgusting. Some people even committed suicide as a result, and yet not one person went to jail for it. Tried to write my MP at the time, but Just like Martin Salter, Alok Sharma is completely unrepresentative.

    2. Little Mouse

      Re: Who says crime doesn't pay?

      Re *sigh*:

      He does still have the small issue of a "20-year jail sentence" to deal with though.

      And deserves every minute if it too, by the sound of things.

    3. Cuddles Silver badge

      Re: Who says crime doesn't pay?

      "They claim he defrauded "tens of millions" from his victims, but is only on the hook to pay back less than a double digit amount?"

      The claim the gang of at least 60 people defrauded tens of millions from his victims. As the ringleader, he presumably took a larger share, but it's entirely possible the $10 million fine is the amount they think he personally made.

  2. Sanctimonious Prick


    Jim Browning on the utoobs. If you haven't heard of him, look him up :)

    And Kitboga <-- funny trucker!

    Love the work those two do!

    Once, there were two guys, one American, the other (not sure) had a Russian accent. They call these scam call centres and give them grief... until, it would seem, these two guys got scammed themselves... then they disappeared. Anyone remember who they were and where they are now?

    1. Michael Hoffmann

      Re: Jim...

      Spent a fun couple of hours watching those guys in action. There's also a few that actually speak Hindi and throw some choice words at them once they manage to wipe their machines. Apparently a lot of those scammers have never heard of backups.

      That said, one of those vids led to some interesting comments from Indians: apparently this scum has no hesitation to scam their own citizens, many who can afford it even less. The rewards are mind-boggling, where even the underlings live in luxury by local standards (and the bosses even by Western standards). But they bribe police and local politicians (of those aren't part of the scammer org in the first place) and are nearly untouchable.

  3. osakajin Silver badge

    So IRS aren't scammers then...

    1. MrMerrymaker Silver badge

      While I don't disagree

      Why not comment on this case directly?

      what do you think of this scoundrel?

  4. MrMerrymaker Silver badge

    Do the maths, not enough

    Let's say he even got ten million

    Twenty years

    Half a million per year, without him getting out early

    That's not justice to me.

  5. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Does he still get "telephone privileges" when incarcerated?

    1. Mike Friedman

      In prisons in the US only pay phones are allowed and they are very expensive.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    20 years in solitary

    Sound of a phone ringing endlessly...

  7. Torchy

    The Chair.

    When he has paid all that he says that he can then show him "The Chair" so that it encourages him to find some more cash.

  8. Mark 85 Silver badge

    This scam is still ongoing. I suppose that a new group has entered play. I'm still getting about 1 or 2 calls a week from some heavily accented guys who claim to be IRS. I've been playing along and then hitting them with "I bet your mother is proud of you. I'll ask next time I see her.". Oh the cries and screams and the anguish.

    1. bpfh


      I need to remember this one :)

  9. Bitsminer Bronze badge

    Oh Texas

    Up here in Lower Canuckistan, the local government-furnished press (a.k.a. CBC) had to prod the local national plod (a.k.a. RCMP) repeatedly. And publicly.

    Until they responded. With a "promise" to work with their Indian counterparts.

    That was a couple of years ago. No charges yet, and no-one expects any, ever.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Morality is an interesting subject. You can have individual moral codes and/or institutional ones. Those who claim the moral high ground are often merely justifying their prejudices - and deliberately inflicting damage on innocent bystanders.

    The scam call-centre operatives generally have no shame - and bask in a state of financial well-being approved of by a significant part of their society.

  11. VE3ID

    I have a foolproof way to foil them, but it only works in Canada. Here the law says that any citizen can communicate with the Federal Government in either English or French. When I see a suspect number (they have a habit of spoofing numbers on your own exchange to make you think it is a local call) I simply answer " 'allo?" Then when the speak, "comment? hein?"

    If it was a real government call they would then switch you to a real French speaker!

    It's never happened!

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