Ashburn Man Sentenced for $25M Money Laundering Conspiracy

Amit Chaudhry, 44, of Ashburn, was sentenced March 2 to nine years in prison for his role in a large-scale identity theft and credit card fraud conspiracy.

Federal prosecutors said the operation resulted in the loss of more than $25 million.

Chaudhry also was ordered to pay $4.1 million restitution.

He pleaded guilty on Sept. 22, 2016, to charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

According to court documents, Chaudhry is an Indian national who became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 2005. Beginning in 2011, he was part of a large, international wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy that involved processing stolen credit card numbers and laundering the proceeds through hundreds of bank accounts. Some accounts were set up in the name of shell companies, which did no real business.

Prosecutors said the fraud and money laundering conspiracy was carried out in part by teams of individuals working together in India, the United States, Europe and elsewhere. Some obtained the personal identifying information of real people; other members obtained the credit card information from credit card customers, and others electronically processed the stolen credit card transactions.

Chaudhry helped laundering the proceeds and assisted co-conspirators who came to the United States from India to open bank accounts used to hold and receive fraud proceeds.

According to court documents, Chaudhry also helped conceal and launder proceeds from a fraud scheme that targeted customers seeking cheap travel, including airline tickets and hotel reservations. He helped to promote the fraudulent travel websites, including through mass mailings to prospective customers. Members of the conspiracy posed as travel agents and purchased customers’ travel itineraries using stolen credit cards. Meanwhile, the customers’ money would be held and transferred among bank accounts controlled by members of the conspiracy, including Chaudhry. Often, the reservations made with the stolen cards would be canceled.  There were more than 1,000 victims of that operation.

According to court documents, Chaudhry also was involved in a separate money laundering conspiracy with Jacqueline Green-Morris, who previously pleaded guilty to money laundering conspiracy. Chaudhry and Green-Morris came up with a fraudulent billing scheme, whereby Chaudhry would submit inflated and fraudulent invoices for IT training to a Virginia contracting firm and Green-Morris used her position as an employee at the firm to pay these fraudulent invoices. Chaudhry and Green-Morris split the proceeds, totaling $4.1 million between 2012 and 2016.

Chaudhry and others also were accused of committing visa fraud by submitting false and fraudulent H-1B visa applications by and through various entities that they owned and controlled, including Networkxchange, Technologyxchange, Secure Networks, and the Knowledge Center. The conspiracy involved the submission of false and fraudulent applications and supporting documentation to the U.S. Department of Labor and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Some of these documents were signed using the name John King, a journalist who is CNN’s chief national correspondent, according to the court filings.

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