Carthage man pleads guilty to telemarketing crimes

Published 4:26 pm Monday, April 26, 2021

Jackson, Miss. – A Carthage man pleaded guilty today to money laundering as part of a broad telemarketing fraud scheme conducted across the United States and elsewhere, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Darren J. LaMarca of the Southern District of Mississippi, and Jack P. Stanton, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations’ New Orleans Field Office.

Neman Zahid, 33, of Carthage, Mississippi, was charged in a federal criminal indictment with acts supporting a conspiracy defrauding multiple victims, as part of an international tech support and telemarketing fraud scheme.

The indictment, charging ten defendants in the United States and abroad, was returned by a federal grand jury on March 19, 2019.

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According to the indictment and testimony in court, beginning no later than on or about January 10, 2015, and continuing through on or about December 20, 2018, Zahid conspired with eight other defendants, located both across the United States and in India, to commit the federal offenses of wire fraud, mail fraud, and bank fraud, in addition to offenses of money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and passing fictitious obligations.

As stated in court documents and testimony in open court, Zahid assisted leaders of a fraud ring which sent tech support emails or telephone messages wrongly advising consumers that their computers were infected with malware or otherwise compromised, and offering for a price to help free their computers.  Once given permission to access remotely the victims’ computers, conspirators from the United States or abroad would help themselves to personal identification information and bank account passwords from their victims’ computers.  Victims often were senior citizens.

Zahid specifically aided the conspirators by incorporating a company called US Professional Support, Inc., and opening bank accounts for the business.  Conspirators would then use the business names and the bank accounts to transfer and remove money obtained from victims during the scam.

“Fraud schemes, like the ones perpetrated and executed by these defendants, inflict considerable loss on citizens, companies, and the financial system,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Darren LaMarca.  “Many of these schemes target the elderly and often steal the victims’ entire life savings.  These arrests affirm the Department of Justice’s commitment to prosecuting those who prey on our most vulnerable citizens.”

Zahid is scheduled to be sentenced by Chief United States District Judge Daniel P. Jordan III on August 20, 2021. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore Cooperstein is prosecuting the case.