Anthony Munigety, 48, was arrested on Tuesday, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of Texas. He made his initial court appearance in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Edison on Tuesday.
Also charged is Ravi Kumar of Noida, India. He is believed to be in India and considered a fugitive, authorities said. A warrant remains outstanding for his arrest.
According to the allegations from U.S. Attorney Jennifer Lowery, the fraud ring operated out of the Conroe area and other locations in the United States and India. Munigety, Kumar and others allegedly committed various fraud schemes targeting primarily elderly victims throughout the U.S.
The primary objective, according to the indictment, was to deceive victims by telling them a technical support company or other entities were purportedly helping them with their computers. They would allegedly trick victims into believing they had been erroneously refunded or overpaid and needed to return the overpayment.
The indictment alleges they were able to gain access to a victim`s computer. This enabled Munigety, Kumar and others to move funds between or wire transfer monies out of their accounts, according to the charges. Once that occurred, Munigety and others would keep a portion of the money and wire the remainder to Kumar in India, according to the charges.
As a result of their scheme, Munigety and others allegedly received over $600,000 from elderly victims.
Munigety and Kumar are charged conspiracy to commit money laundering, 13 counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering.
If convicted, they face up to 20 years on each count as well as a possible $250,000 maximum fine.
IRS Criminal Investigation and FBI conducted the investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Quincy L. Ollison is prosecuting the case.
The U.S. Attorney`s Office for the Southern District of Texas is a member of the Department of Justice`s Elder Justice Initiative which combats elder abuse, neglect and financial fraud and scams that target our nation`s seniors.