An Irving, Texas man was arrested by FBI agents for his alleged involvement in a scam where he posed as an Internal Revenue Service agent to fraudulently wire funds to India.
Narasimha Bhogavalli, 50, allegedly defrauded victims by contacting individuals posing as an IRS agent, according to U.S. Attorney John Parker in a news release.
Victims were then advised there were outstanding warrants for their arrest and they would be sent to jail unless they deposited money orders, and sometimes cash, into bank accounts controlled by Bhogavalli and other co-conspirators, according to the release.
Bhogavalli used at least two Bank of America accounts — one in the name of Tekdynamics, Inc., and one in the name of Touchstone Commodities, Inc.
The investigation revealed that Bhogavalli also controlled additional accounts used in the money soliciting scam, including a Citibank account held in the name of Touchstone Commodities.
Between Nov. 5, 2014, and Feb. 2, 2015, approximately 242 deposits of cash and money orders, totaling approximately $1,661,247, which includes at least 2,250 separate money orders totaling $1,493,848 were made in one of the Bank of America accounts, according to the release.
During the two-week period, between approximately Jan. 16-30 of 2015, at least 60 money orders, totaling $37,957 were deposited into the other Bank of America account. Between Nov. 4, 2014, and Feb. 5, 2015, at least 128 money orders, totaling $96,716 were deposited into the Citibank account.
A financial analysis of those accounts shows that immediately following the deposits made by the victims of the money soliciting scam, the proceeds were transferred to other accounts Bhogavalli reportedly controlled, where he either spent the funds or wired them to other countries, such as India.
Records indicate Bhogavalli was listed as the Director of Touchstone Commodities in Irving, Texas.
In account opening documents, Bhogavalli characterized Touchstone Commodities as an “import-export” business. On its website, Touchstone Commodities is “experienced in the global sourcing and supply of many valuable commodities,” including iron ore, steel and wood chips.
Bhogavalli is awaiting a detention hearing this week following his arrest.
The investigation was conducted by the FBI and the U.S. Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration (TIGTA). Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Nicholas Bunch is tasked with prosecuting the case.
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.
Editor’s note: subsequent court records indicate that charges were later dropped on December 30, 2016.