Indian National Sentenced to 10 Years in Federal Prison for Money Laundering Conspiracy

Sep 25, 2023

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Colorado

DENVER – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces that Dhruv Jani, age 40, formerly of Wray, Colorado, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for conspiring to commit money laundering.   Additionally, he was ordered to pay $1,163,947.28 in restitution.

According to the plea agreement, starting in January 2020, Jani was part of a conspiracy to launder funds obtained from a government official imposter scheme.  Victims in the United States were contacted by telephone and coerced into believing they were under investigation by “Agents” of federal law enforcement agencies (the FBI, SSA, DHS, Treasury, or U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration).  Victims were told that their identities had been connected to a criminal incident, that their imminent arrest and/or deportation from the United States had been ordered by law enforcement, and that the only way to avoid arrest and or deportation was to pay the “Government” large sums of money.  The “Agent” then convinced the victim to package and ship the cash to alleged government officials via Federal Express or United Parcel Service.  Many of these same victims were also directed to mail packages of cash to individuals in other states. 

“We must protect our elderly and our vulnerable citizens,” said U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan.  “Making victims fearful, this defendant created a scheme that cheated them out of more than a million dollars.  For this, he will now spend years in federal prison.”

“This sentence holds Mr. Jani accountable for his malicious acts of orchestrating Social Security-related and government imposter scams that preyed upon vulnerable persons,” said Gail S. Ennis, Inspector General for the Social Security Administration. “My office will continue to work closely with our law enforcement partners to pursue those who victimize unsuspecting persons, often elderly, to deprive of them of their Social Security benefits and resources. I thank the United States Postal Inspection Service, Department of Homeland Security-OIG, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Sterling, Colorado Police Department for their investigative efforts and U.S. Attorney’s Office for prosecuting this case.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is committed to ensuring these types of predatory schemes are investigated aggressively,” said U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Bryan Musgrove of the Denver Division.  “It is imperative that we work with our law enforcement partners to protect our Postal customers, the American people, who unknowingly fall prey to these schemes.  We will not allow fraudsters to utilize the mail or USPS products and services to further their crimes.”

“Operators of call centers relentlessly target the elderly to steal every penny of their hard-earned life savings.” said Eric DeLaune Acting Special Agent in Charge, HSI New Orleans. “Thanks to the hardworking agents of HSI and the prosecution team with the U.S. Attorney’s Office Jani will be held accountable for his contemptible crimes. HSI continues to investigate cross border call centers like these to stop the abuse of the elderly.”

United States District Court Judge Raymond P. Moore sentenced Jani on September 21, 2023.  After Jani serves his term of incarceration he will be deported to India. 

This investigation is being conducted jointly with investigators from the Social Security Administration (SSA) Office of Inspector General (OIG), United States Postal Inspection Service, Department of Homeland Security-OIG, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and the Sterling, Colorado Police Department. The District Attorney for the 13th Judicial District has also provided assistance. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martha A. Paluch and Laura B. Hurd.

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