LAREDO, TX—Ragavan Thamby, 51, a Canadian citizen, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit telemarketing fraud, U.S. Attorney Kenneth Magidson announced today.
Thamby was indicted in 2009 for defrauding elderly United States citizens into sending money to him or his associates in Toronto, Canada. Today, he admitted that between 2002 and 2007, Thamby’s organization targeted elderly people in the United States—falsely representing to them that they had either won a lottery or sweepstakes or that they had unclaimed funds. The people were then told they would have to send Thamby’s organization money in order to claim the prize or money. As a result of his fraudulent scheme, Thamby or his organization netted approximately $3 million from more than 600 victims.
As part of the plea agreement, Thamby will be required to pay restitution in the amount of $3.5 million to the victims of his crime.
Thamby will remain in custody pending his sentencing to be set a later date. At that time, he faces up to 30 years in jail and up to $1 million in fines.
The case was investigated by various Canadian and U.S. law enforcement agencies including, the Ontario (Canada) Provincial Police, and the FBI. The case is being prosecuted by Assisatnt United States Attorney Don J. Young.