New York: United States of America will initiate action against a host of global companies and individuals, including those in India, involved in a multi-million dollar mass mailing fraud that has defrauded thousands of elderly and vulnerable people.
According to the US Justice Department, accused companies and individuals wrote letters to thousands of people wrongly claiming that the recipient had won, or will soon win, cash or valuable prizes.
However to collect these benefits the recipients had to send in a small token amount as a “processing fee”. The letters appeared from legitimate sources and typically had official-looking letterheads.
Some mailers deliberately used fonts that appear to be handwritten, the justice department said.
Among others, the Justice Department will act against an Indian company – Mail Order Solutions – based out of Mumbai. The company is owned by Dharti Desai, 49, of New York County and Mehul Desai of Mumbai.
Mail Order Solutions India or MOSI is accused of editing and fraudulent direct mails and then “lettershoping” — fold, insert, and seal various printed elements – them for clients. The company allegedly prepares letters for mailing to US directly, or via Singapore, Fiji or Hungary.
The company has allegedly shipped at least 24.5 million such packets since 2013 and could face closure if the Justice Department succeeds in its appeal.
Others accused in the complaint include and an India-based printer that manufactures the solicitations and arranges for bulk shipment to US victims; list brokers who buy, sell or rent lists of victims from one mailer to another so that once a victim has fallen prey to one scheme, others are able to target this victim; and a Canadian payment processor that, for more than 20 years, has helped dozens of international fraudsters gain access to US banks and take money from victims.