Plainfield Man Sentenced to Over 3 Years in Federal Prison for $1.5 Million Identity Theft Scheme
From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Indiana
INDIANAPOLIS- Vimalkumar Trivedi, 41, of Plainfield, Indiana, has been sentenced to 46 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to the possession of false identity documents and operating an unlicensed money transfer business.
According to court documents, from April 2017 through April 1, 2021, Trivedi defrauded multiple victims, including some elderly individuals, into sending cash to various locations, including Indianapolis via FedEx. Trivedi and his co-conspirators in the U.S. and India masqueraded as federal law enforcement agents and told the victims that their Social Security numbers had been found in connection with criminal activity, often narcotics trafficking. The criminals stated that the victims would be arrested if they did not immediately withdraw large sums of cash and mail it to fictitious individuals.
Trivedi tracked the packages of money sent by fraud victims to the fictitious recipients and picked them up at multiple FedEx locations. In each instance, Trivedi used a false identification document in the name of the listed package recipient. In total, Trivedi possessed at least 53 false identification documents, each with his picture but containing different identifying information. He used these false identification documents to pick up at least 122 packages containing $901,124 in cash proceeds of the fraud. Trivedi kept $60,000 stolen from victims for his own use and forwarded the remainder to his associates.
Through the investigation, law enforcement agents have identified and confirmed approximately 17 victims, identified approximately 50 other suspected victims, and identified approximately $1.5 million in losses to the victims.
United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers, Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office; Welber Hickman, Special Agent in Charge of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service Norfolk Field Office, Rodney Hopkins, Postal Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Detroit Division; and Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General of the Social Security Administration, OIG made the announcement.
“International fraud conspiracies steal from hard-working people using lies, manipulation, and fear,” said U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana, Zachary A. Myers. “These vicious crimes often devastate families and individuals victimized by these heartless thieves. The sentence in this case demonstrates that fraudsters seeking a quick buck will pay a heavy price for their crimes. I commend the dedication of the FBI, NCIS, Postal Inspection Service, and Social Security Administration OIG, to hold these criminals accountable and seek justice for victims.”
“The sentence imposed on the defendant sends a very clear message to those who attempt to profit from fraud. You will be caught, and you will face time behind bars,” said FBI Indianapolis Special Agent in Charge Herbert J. Stapleton. “Protecting the community from becoming victims of these types of schemes will always be a priority for the FBI and our partners.”
“Mr. Trivedi’s conspirators threatened and scared innocent victims into sending him large sums of money in a vile scheme for which he deserves to be held fully accountable,” said Special Agent in Charge Welber Hickman of the NCIS Norfolk Field Office. “This sentencing should serve as a warning that NCIS and our partners will expose and bring to justice those who seek to defraud our nation’s warfighters and their families.”
“Trivedi was part of an imposter scam that used scare tactics and identity theft to scam innocent victims out of hard-earned money. Today’s sentence shows that such behavior will not be tolerated,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “I thank the United States Attorney’s Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and work on this case.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation, Naval Criminal Investigative Service, United States Postal Inspection Service, and the Social Security Administration Office of Inspector General investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Chief Judge, Tanya Walton Pratt. Judge Pratt also ordered that Trivedi be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 3 years following his release from federal prison.
U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Bradley P. Shepard and Patrick A. Gibson, who prosecuted this case.