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Man Pleads Guilty to Role in $600K Malware Protection Scam

A man from India has pleaded guilty to his role in a scheme that tried to embezzle about $600,000 from seven people over the age of 65 in the U.S., federal prosecutors say.

Chirag Sachdeva, 30, participated in a telemarketing scheme that offered victims computer protection services after misleading them to believe that malware had been detected on their computers, according to a statement from the U.S. attorney’s office in Rhode Island.

The scam involved call center operators in India obtaining personal and banking information from victims’ computers through remote access applications, prosecutors said.

Sachdeva then contacted an acquaintance in Rhode Island and enlisted him to assist in accessing and stealing funds from the victims’ bank accounts, authorities said. That acquaintance was cooperating with the FBI.

Sachdeva has been held since he was arrested by FBI agents on Feb. 16 as he got off a plane in Boston after a flight from India.

He pleaded guilty Monday to seven counts of wire fraud. He faces 20 years in prison at sentencing scheduled for Dec. 8.

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