SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) – A Springfield man pleaded guilty in a federal court in Boston in connection with a scheme to launder through various phone fraud scams.

According to the news release sent to 22News by the Department of Justice in Boston, Utkarsh Thakur, 29, of Springfield, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering conspiracy. 

Between January and August 2021, Thakur’s co-conspirators called victims over the phone pretending to be individuals in positions of authority, such as law enforcement, and threaten the victims in order to get money. The victims were told to mail cash to fictitious individuals at addresses in Massachusetts. Thakur obtained fake identification cards in the names of those fictitious individuals, retrieved the cash mailed by the victims and took the cash to others involved in the scheme. In total, Thakur laundered more than $1 million in victim funds and kept a portion of those funds for himself.

The charge of money laundering conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater, and forfeiture.