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  1. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI)
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  3. Indian National Admits Defrauding Telephone Providers, Insurance Companies of Millions Following Joint Investigation

Indian National Admits Defrauding Telephone Providers, Insurance Companies of Millions Following HSI Newark Joint Investigation

Release Date: June 6, 2024

NEWARK, N.J. — An Indian national admitted his role in a conspiracy to defraud various telephone providers and insurance companies of millions of dollars by using stolen or fake identities to submit fraudulent claims for replacement cellular devices and then reselling those devices outside the United States following a joint investigation Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Newark led with law enforcement partners.

Sandeep Bengera, 36, of Newark, pleaded guilty before the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey in Newark to a two-count indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit interstate transfer of stolen property.

“Together with our partner agencies in the investigative and prosecutorial realms of this case, HSI Newark special agents and criminal analysts were determined to dismantle the fraudulent schemes perpetrated by Sandeep Bengera,” said HSI Newark acting Special Agent in Charge William S. Walker. “We will continue to hold accountable fraudsters who conspire to deceive and victimize corporations and members of our community.”

According to the investigation, from June 2013 through June 2019, Bengera was involved in a widespread scheme to defraud cellular telephone provider and insurance companies using the U.S. mail system, as well as other third-party mail carriers. Bengera and his conspirators used stolen and fake identities to submit false claims of lost, stolen or damaged cellular telephones, as well as other devices, in order to obtain replacement devices. Bengera and his conspirators maintained a network of mailboxes and storage units across the United States, including in New Jersey, where the replacement devices would be shipped and then held before being sold to third parties outside the United States. Bengera admitted the total value of the replacement devices was more than $9 million.

HSI Newark partnered with the Federal Bureau of Investigation in Newark, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark, Customs and Border Protection’s New York field office and the U.S. Department of State’s Diplomatic Security Service’s New York field office on the investigation.

Follow us on X, formerly known as Twitter, at @HSINewark to learn more about HSI’s global missions and operations.

Last Updated: 06/06/2024
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