Illinois man sentenced for IRS scam that netted nearly $900K

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — An Illinois man who impersonated an IRS employee and stole nearly $900,000 has been sentenced to three years in federal prison.

Ashokkumar Patel was sentenced Tuesday by a U.S. district judge to 40 months behind bars with a year of supervision after release, the Sprigfield Republican reported.

Patel, of Hoffman Estates, Illinois, and formerly of Worcester and Plainville, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty in Worcester federal court to conspiracy, fraud and money laundering charges for the scam that the U.S. Attorney’s Office says made $881,662.

Patel faces deportation and was ordered to pay restitution to his victims.

“From December 2013 to October 2014, Patel was part of a conspiracy whereby victims in the United States were contacted by individuals, primarily in India, and falsely told that they owed money to the IRS,” the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. “The victims were told that in order to avoid imminent arrest they had to purchase MoneyPak, or other types of prepaid stored value cards, load thousands of dollars onto the cards and provide the serial numbers to the callers.”

According to prosecutors, the money was then used to buy prepaid cards that were used to purchase money orders that were deposited into various bank accounts, including Patel's.