Three men charged in connection with identity theft scheme | USAO-CO

Denver – The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announces that James Albert Witte, 68, Jason Lee Henderson, 36, and Indian national Dhruv Jani, 39, all formerly of Wray, Colorado, have been charged with money laundering and conspiracy to commit money laundering.

According to the indictment, from January 2020 to April 2021, the three co-defendants were part of a conspiracy to launder funds obtained through an official government impersonation scheme. In the United States, victims were contacted by phone and coerced into believing they were being investigated by “agents” of federal law enforcement agencies (FBI, SSA, DHS , Treasury or US Drug Enforcement Administration). It was further part of the conspiracy that the conspirators told these victims that their identity had been linked to a criminal incident, that their impending arrest and/or deportation from the United States had been ordered by law enforcement, and that the only way to avoid arrest and/or deportation was to pay the “government” large sums of money, as instructed. The victims were instructed to withdraw money from their bank accounts and mail it to various addresses, which turned out to be Walgreens stores in northeast Colorado.

Indian national Dhruv Jani allegedly paid Witte and Henderson to use fake IDs to collect packets of money from victims mailed to Walgreens stores. To date, the government has identified 54 victims who, in total, have lost more than $7.5 million through this scheme. Of that $7.5 million, $1.5 million in cash was sent to Colorado. Jani also allegedly threatened to kill his estranged wife in Colorado with her “own hands” over her divorce filing and the withdrawal of support for her green card.

Witte made his first appearance on July 27, 2022 before Magistrate Judge S. Kato Crews. Jani and Henderson made their first appearances on July 26, 2022, also before Magistrate Judge S. Kato Crews.

This investigation is being conducted in conjunction with investigators from the Office of Inspector General (OIG), Social Security Administration (SSA), United States Postal Inspection Service, Department of Homeland Security-OIG, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and the Sterling, Colorado Police Department. Department. The Public Prosecutor of the 13e The Judicial District also provided assistance. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant US Attorney Martha A. Paluch.

The charges in the indictment are allegations and the accused are presumed innocent until proven guilty.

Case number: 22-cr-202

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