Social Security scammer pleads guilty – Community News
Social Security

Social Security scammer pleads guilty

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An Indian citizen living in Seattle, WA has pleaded guilty to federal violations in the Eastern District of Texas, Acting US Attorney Nicholas J. Ganjei announced Nov. 4.

Aakash Gandhi, 28, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud today before US District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

According to information presented in court, during the month of October 2020, a Beaumont resident received multiple calls from a person — later identified as Gandhi — who falsely claimed to be a special agent with the Social Security Administration. Gandhi demanded that the victim send large sums of cash in the mail so they could get a new Social Security number and avoid alleged criminal liability. The elderly Beaumont resident fell victim to the scam and sent more than $20,000 cash by mail to a UPS store in Seattle upon request. Gandhi received those packages in Seattle and forwarded some of those funds to his co-conspirators.

“There is no doubt that phone scams are not only a nuisance, but a real threat to the financial livelihood of all Americans,” Ganjei said. “While phone scams continue to grow, EDTX is scaling up through staffing and training to meet and beat this challenge.”

Gandhi was indicted on July 8 by a federal grand jury and faces up to 20 years in prison. The maximum legal penalty prescribed by Congress is provided here for informational purposes, as sentencing will be determined by the court based on the advisory sentencing guidelines and other legal factors. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of an attendance screening by the U.S. Probation Office.

If you or someone you know is 60 years of age or older and has been the victim of financial fraud, please contact the National Elder Fraud Hotline: 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311).