RICHMOND, V.A. (WSPA) – An Upstate man was sentenced to a little over 4 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

According to the Department of Justice, from February 2020 through June 2020, Jeel Patel, 22, of Duncan was part of an international fraud scheme originating from call centers in India that targeted elders.

The call centers would contact victims using automated robocalls, impersonate government officials such as the FBI or DEA agents in efforts to trick and persuade victims into wiring funds to bank accounts controlled by the conspiracy, or shipping parcels of cash to addresses to which conspirators had access.

Workers in the scheme would retrieve the victims’ stolen money, save a portion for themselves, and forward the remainder to the call center operators in India, the Department of Justice said.

Jeel Patel was working for Bhavinkumar ‘Sunny’ Patel, 28, of Richmond, Virginia, who was previously prosecuted by the Eastern District of Virginia.

Sunny Patel worked with a number of individuals in different states that were responsible for stealing more than $3 million from over 120 victims.

On April 8, 2022, Sunny Patel was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

During the time that Jeel Patel worked for Sunny Patel, 14 packages from 10 different victims were retrieved, with total actual losses of $485,020.

Jeel Patel also participated in repeated home pickups where he traveled to the residences of two different 80-year-old victims located in Michigan and South Carolina, under the impression of being a DEA official and took money directly from the victims.