Michigan man and co-defendants engaged in a scheme to sell opioids and other goods online.
Doyal Kalita, 35, of Redford, Michigan, has been indicted on one count of “wire fraud conspiracy, one count of conspiracy to import Schedule II and Schedule IV controlled substances and one count of money laundering conspiracy,” according to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). Kalita allegedly engaged in fraudulent online activities including opioid sales and the sales of other goods.
“The defendant and others allegedly operated a variety store of online scams,” said Joleen D. Simpson, special agent in charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, Boston Office. “First, they are alleged to have devised a complex help-desk scam to defraud innocent individuals who were simply trying to resolve phony computer problems.”
The scam allegedly began when Kalita and a codefendant created pop-up screens that would tell people their computers were in need of repair. If clicked on, the pop-up would redirect them to a technical support line. These victims would be connected with call centers Michigan and India where they would be misled into buying unneeded products instead of being offered solutions to fix the problem.
At the same time, Kalita and his partner from Redford allegedly “sold controlled substances, including opioids, from India and Europe to people across the U.S.,” according to the indictment. Another person was also involved as a supplier.
Authorities believe that the defendant’s schemes have been active since 2015. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years behind bars for each charge and $3 million in fines.
United State Attorney Rachael S. Rollins said, “Taking advantage of innocent people through the assumed anonymity that the internet provides is a cowardly crime. We believe that Mr. Kalita ran an online criminal enterprise that not only targeted and deceived innocent online users out of their own money, but also pumped deadly opioids into our communities. Bad actors think they can remain undetected from law enforcement while behind a computer screen. They should think again. We have the tools to identify you and bring your criminal activity to a halt. And we will use them.”
Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division, added, “Tech support scams cost Massachusetts residents $5.3 million last year, and consumers, nationwide, lost $347 million. The FBI is working hard every day to hold the criminals behind these scams accountable for the harm they inflict, and today, we arrested Doyal Kalita for his alleged role in a multi-year, international scheme to defraud computer users, and, for his role in a side business selling imported drugs online. Today’s arrest should be a warning to others that the FBI will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to root out fraudsters who victimize our fellow citizens for personal gain.”
“The defendant and others allegedly operated a variety store of online scams. First, they are alleged to have devised a complex help-desk scam to defraud innocent individuals who were simply trying to resolve phony computer problems. In addition, they are also accused of operating an online drug distribution scheme that sold controlled substances,” said Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division, Boston Office. “As a result of today’s charges, their scams are no longer in operation, and they will now be held responsible for their alleged fraud and deceit.”