Indian-American couple from Minnesota charged for defrauding elders

Chirag Janakbhai Choksi and his wife Shachi Naishadh Majmudar (facebook.com)

A Minnesota couple has been indicted for their roles in a sophisticated fraud scheme that primarily targeted elderly Americans.

A press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office Eastern District of Virginia, citing court documents and allegations in the indictment, said Chirag Janakbhai Choksi, 35, and his wife, Shachi Naishadh Majmudar, 35, were members of a criminal conspiracy who had members that impersonated law enforcement officials to trick and coerce victims into mailing and shipping cash to other conspiracy members by convincing the victims that it was in their best interests to do so.

According to the indictment, Choksi used counterfeit driver’s licenses to identify himself when picking up cash shipments from victims, and then made multiple deposits of that cash into bank accounts controlled by conspiracy members.

The indictment also alleges that Majmudar went to the online websites of FedEx and the U.S. Postal Service to track shipments of cash sent by victims, and made multiple deposits of victims’ cash into conspiracy-controlled bank accounts. They operated cells in multiple states, including New Jersey, California, Indiana, Texas, Illinois and Minnesota. 

Choksi and Majmudar are both charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, as well as one count of mail fraud.

The maximum possible sentence for each of those charges is 20 years in prison. Choksi is also charged with aggravated identity theft, which provides for a mandatory minimum term of two years in prison that must run consecutive to any other sentence imposed.

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