Press Esc to close

Indian-American agrees to settle threatening charges

Washington, Oct 24, 2012 (PTI) 8:55 IST
An Indian American, who is accused of using call centres in India to make threatening debt collector calls to people in the US, has agreed to pay an estimated USD 1,70,000 to settle the charges against him, a federal agency has said.

California-based Varang K Thaker, whose companies American Credit Crunchers and Ebeeze used to make calls from India to deceive, and threatened consumers into paying debts not owed by them, or which the companies were not authorised to collect, will turn over all of his assets to the US government, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) said.

According to a FCT statement, the court order amounts to USD 5.4 million, which has been suspended because of Thaker's inability to pay. He and his company have been prohibited from debt collection.

In a charge sheet filed in February this year, FTC had alleged that consumers in the US received millions of collection calls from India, and in a two-year period, the operation took in more than USD 5 million from victims.

During this time, consumers filed more than 4,000 complaints with the FTC and state attorney generals about fraudulent debt collection calls. FTC alleged that the callers who worked with the defendants would contact consumers who previously had received or inquired about online payday loans.

Often posing as be law enforcement or other government authorities, the callers would falsely threaten to immediately arrest and jail consumers if they did not agree to make a payment on a supposedly delinquent payday loan. The FTC alleged that information submitted by consumers, who had applied online for these loans, found its way into the hands of the defendants, who used it to convince consumers that they owed them money.

Presenting themselves as local police department -- the 'Federal Department of Crime and Prevention' or simply a federal investigator -- the callers allegedly typically demanded more than USD 300 and sometimes as much as USD 2,000.

At other times, the callers also claimed to be filing a large lawsuit against the consumer, or threatened to have the consumer fired from his or her job, FTC said. The consumers actually did not owe money to defendants. Either the payday loan debts did not exist or the defendants had no authority to collect them because they were owed to someone else, the FTC alleged.

Go to Top

More from this section
Most trending stories
Photo Gallery
Greenpeace demonstrators in all-over bodysuits protest against pollution...

Greenpeace demonstrators in all-over bodysuits protest against pollution...

A Marathi mother-daughter duo during a procession to commemorate Shivaji Jayanti...

A Marathi mother-daughter duo during a procession to commemorate Shivaji Jayanti...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the saints during the...

Prime Minister Narendra Modi greets the saints during the...

Raphael Manet checks the growth of radish seedlings as he works at the...

Raphael Manet checks the growth of radish seedlings as he works at the...

Director and screenwriter Emily Atef and actors Marie Baumer, Birgit Minichmayr...

Director and screenwriter Emily Atef and actors Marie Baumer, Birgit Minichmayr...

Devotees celebrate ahead of Holi festival in Raman Reti near Mathura...

Devotees celebrate ahead of Holi festival in Raman Reti near Mathura...

Bronze medalist in the women's 4 x 5km relay cross-country skiing the team from Russia...

Bronze medalist in the women's 4 x 5km relay cross-country skiing the team from Russia...

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his son Hadrien, 3, feeds an elephant during...

Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau with his son Hadrien, 3, feeds an elephant during...

Bollywood actress and dancer Smilie Suri during the Pole Dance practice...

Bollywood actress and dancer Smilie Suri during the Pole Dance practice...

A child plays with soap bubbles at the Surajkund Mela in...

A child plays with soap bubbles at the Surajkund Mela in...

Like us on Facebook

Copyright 2017, The Printers (Mysore) Private Ltd., 75, M.G Road, Post Box 5331, Bengaluru - 560001
Tel: +91 (80) 25880000 Fax No. +91 (80) 25880523
Powered by Yodasoft Technologies Pvt. Ltd.