BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) – The U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston has released information on an arrest involving a multi-year operation to defraud computer users and to sell controlled substances online.
According to court records, Doyal Kalita, 35, of Redford, Michigan, was 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.
In a news release sent to 22News, it is alleged that in 2015 Kalita and a co-conspirator created a scam to defraud internet users through the use of deceptive pop-up screens that falsely told victims that their computers were infected with viruses (or were otherwise damaged) and directed the victims to call for technical support. Victims were connected to call centers in India and in Michigan and were coerced into buying unnecessary products and services.
The government also alleges that at the same time, Kalita and his co-conspirator launched an online drug distribution business that sold controlled substances, including opioids, and shipped the drugs from India and Europe to persons in Massachusetts and elsewhere in the United States. It is alleged that another individual later joined the conspiracy as one of Kalita’s main drug suppliers.
“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,” said United State Attorney Rachael S. Rollins. “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.”
“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,” said Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Division. “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.”
Kalita went before a federal court in Michigan on Thursday and is expected to appear at federal court in Boston at a later date.