back to article Call-center scammer loses $9m appeal in stunning moment of poetic justice

A call-center scammer has lost his appeal to overturn a $9m fine – after a court pointed out the crook had specifically waived the right to appeal when he pleaded guilty. Viraj Patel was part of a large India-based criminal enterprise that conned tens of thousands of Americans out of hundreds of millions of dollars: the …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Not poetic enough

    Not poetic enough. Not enough justice. What I would like to see ... is NSFW. 'Nuff said. (Have to post this anonymously. Yes I'm a coward.)

    1. ShadowDragon8685

      Re: Not poetic enough

      Yes, because you're an internet tough guy who'd like to hint that he'd like really horrible things to happen to people.

      Yes, scammers are scum of the earth and cause untold amounts of suffering, and yes, this one is a genuinely remorseless MFer.

      However, that does NOT excuse immediately leaping to behaving like a wrathful barbarian. What WOULD you like to do to him, huh? Have him drawn and quartered, watch as he screams and yelps and begs for mercy, listen as his limbs distend and rip out of their sockets and finally from his body altogether with a wet, nasty, ripping sound?

      Or maybe you'd like to get Viking on him, have him strung up spread-eagled vertically, cut open his back, break his ribs and extract them followed by extracting his lungs and place them on his shoulders, to see how long it takes him to die?

      Go on, tough guy! Tell us what you'd REALLY like to see happen to this wanker!

      Here's what I'D like to see happen to him:

      1] Every cent he stole from everybody paid back in full;

      2] Every cent of court costs and public official's time that investigating and prosecuting the case took paid back in full;

      3] The maximum $250,000 fine assessed;

      4] Incarceration until such time as a psychiatrist deems that he has grasped and internalized the pain and suffering that his fraudulent actions cause, that he empathizes with those persons, and shall not recidivism again.

      1. Danny 14 Silver badge

        Re: Not poetic enough

        No need to do anything to him. Just a prison where he will be traded like playing cards will make him rethink his life in short order.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: Danny 14

          Presumably that's your age at the end of your handle.

          The discussion is about justice not revenge fantasies. Especially not the stupid, offensive and frankly very tedious "prison rape" one.

          1. boltar Silver badge

            Re: Danny 14

            Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

            1. sabroni Silver badge
              Facepalm

              Re: Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

              I know they're related. I know they're not the same thing. It's fine for the state to administer justice. It's not fine for the state to administer revenge.

              There's no need to be patronising, particularly when your point is so feeble and you've no idea how old I am.

              1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

                Re: Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

                "It's fine for the state to administer justice. It's not fine for the state to administer revenge."

                There's also a need for the state to administer deterrence but i'm not sure where that fits in between justice and revenge.

                1. Vometia Munro

                  Re: Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

                  I'm somewhat reminded of Albert Pierrepoint, the UK's last hangman and a very prolific one, commenting that he didn't think the results of his job served as any sort of deterrent. I'm not sure how political a point he was making, he seemed very proud of the professionalism with which he went about his duty after all, but just that it didn't really accomplish the goal its proponents tend to highlight. I'm also mindful of other court judgements that seem to be Making A Point: which they do, but they're often insufficiently clear about which point they're making, with the resulting risk that onlookers may simply conclude that some of the people presiding over their deliberations are loose cannons with insufficient accountability.

                  1. Electronics'R'Us Bronze badge
                    Holmes

                    Re: Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

                    There is a very large body of work on the deterrence effect (or otherwise) of the death penalty.

                    One such paper (which looks at multiple research work) is here

                    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                      Re: Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

                      I don't know why someone downvoted this. I don't know that I'd call the corpus of death-penalty-deterrence-analysis literature "very large", but it's of a decent size (the linked paper reviews some of it). And the paper you linked appears to be a reasonable contribution - I didn't bother checking any of their sources but they discuss methodologies and other issues at some length, and don't seem to be attempting to justify an a priori position.

                    2. Kiwi Silver badge
                      Thumb Up

                      Re: Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

                      One such paper (which looks at multiple research work) is here

                      Thanks for that. A very interesting read!

                      I'll talk some of my own experience, but also..

                      It seems that there's 3 key motivators for killing another person, fear, anger and mercy. All else pretty much stems from this, even jealousy, 'honour killing' and greed.

                      By "mercy' I am thinking of the likes of 'assisted suicide' but also where a husband smothers a suffering wife because he cannot bear her pain, or where a mother drowns her children because of her fears of the world they live in (so both mercy and fear there).

                      Greed is not a primary motivator, greed inspires anger and/or fear, and those combined with a lack of suitable inhibitors lead to the murder, same for jealousy.

                      From what I know of the subject (inspired by thoughts on my own acts and motivations, reading some on the subjects and talking to victims and perpetrators), much of the time "murder" is done out of a rage, justified or not. There is no consideration of punishment, or of getting caught, or even of what they're doing at the time. No punishment can be a deterrent when you're not giving any thought even to what you're doing in the moment, let alone what comes later.

                      For my own part - I've mentioned here I bear the scars of an incident with another boy where I literally 'smashed his teeth in'. I could've killed him, or crippled him for life. I could've been charged with murder and had a life sentence before I finished school, or spent some time in a borstal or other such wonderful institution. These weren't even a remote consideration. My hands hurt like hell, there was blood all over the place; neither the mess nor the pain entered my mind. Whether in pain or in terror he was crying and screaming; but I was only aware of that later.

                      I have no clue why I stopped when I did. There was no element of mercy in my thinking. I was exhausted, but I'm sure I could've found the energy for more blows or more kicks. I did not stop out of any thought I'd done enough, or he'd suffered enough. I left him there and went to the nearest bathroom to wash myself off, there was no consideration for his or my safety. I don't even know if he was concious.

                      All I remember of the time is some form of a blind rage. I did not care one bit or even remotely consider consequences or harm. I was not thinking of what he or his friends, or others had done to me. No thought was given to the sensations of hitting him or what it was doing to either of us. It was just rage.

                      Because of this I have some understanding of what goes on when some people act to kill another, and because of this I know full well why getting caught and sentenced - whatever the sentence - is seldom if ever a consideration. When the murder comes as an act of rage, however said rage is initiated, there is no deterrent save for someone else being there who can pull you off the person you're attacking.

                      For whatever reason, the school did not bring the police in. Perhaps they thought my acts justified, perhaps they knew they'd face some terrible questions themselves. Nor was I caned. My punishment was a lecture from the principal about what I'd done, the damage to him, the school, and myself. At the time I protested that he'd started it, and had been part of several attacks on me that the school had done little if anything about. During that talk I took no blame or fault on myself.

                      In one respect, I got away with something that could've been charged as attempted murder; yet in another I have spent much of my life trying to avoid any similar event ever again. The best deterrent for me, it seems, is to know what a person is capable of when they experience enough provocation and not enough control, and the knowledge that if there is a next time then I may not stop - the harm I may do to someone and their loved ones if I ever was to let myself lose control again.

                      (So yes, Boltar, I have taken my anger out on someone who may've deserved it, and I learned and let it make me a better person instead of someone who justifies further revenge).

              2. boltar Silver badge
                FAIL

                Re: Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

                If the sense of revenge didn't exist there would be no need for justice since no one would care about crime being committed or being a victim of, So in a sense the state does exact revenge vicariously though not necessarily satisfactorily all the time. That is the "feeble" point you apparently didn't understand. Also if you or one you love had been a victim of crime you wouldn't be so quick to dish up the smug "revenge fantasy" putdown.

                1. Kiwi Silver badge
                  Pint

                  Re: Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

                  If the sense of revenge didn't exist there would be no need for justice since no one would care about crime being committed or being a victim of,

                  I have to disagree with that (see my previous post), although I can understand your point. But justice can clearly exist without need for revenge.

                  So in a sense the state does exact revenge vicariously though not necessarily satisfactorily all the time.

                  That is sadly all-too-true. If we could get past the desire for revenge, our prisons would empty out in a heartbeat. Prison should be for the protection of society and if there's a way for the accused to be out without undue risk then that should be the norm. People keep committing burglaries to deal with drug addiction? Then they should be given treatment, they should never be let out without help. Doing bad because they have poor education and no job prospects? Well, increase their schooling whilst inside and give them better chances on release. Having a decent job is one of the biggest factors in whether a person will or won't re-offend.

                  Someone locked up inside cannot do much harm but they can do very little good as well. Someone working or volunteering, OTOH, can do a lot of good for their communities.

                  Some of those who abused me in youthful stupidity have gone on to do a hell of a lot for others, and I know in a couple of cases guilt was the greater motivator. They could've spent years inside for what they did to me, but their self-inflicted justice has done much more than any prison-based state-revenge would've done.;

                  We would all be much better off if we could get the 'revenge' out of the justice system, and actually make it about justice

                  Also if you or one you love had been a victim of crime you wouldn't be so quick to dish up the smug "revenge fantasy" putdown.

                  I have.. And I agree with you TBH - I know revenge is wrong first-hand but I can well understand other's desires for revenge. But knowing why people seek revenge - that still doesn't justify revenge in any fashion.

                  1. Vometia Munro

                    Re: Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

                    "Prison should be for the protection of society and if there's a way for the accused to be out without undue risk then that should be the norm."

                    It's interesting to see how many people are given custodial sentences in spite of their pre-sentencing report indicating that they are not at risk of re-offending and/or that they are not a risk to the public.

            2. JohnFen Silver badge

              Re: Danny 14

              They're only related in the sense that people often mistake one for the other.

            3. Kiwi Silver badge
              Pint

              Re: Danny 14

              Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older.

              I'm old enough and plenty experienced enough to say that you're wrong.

              Revenge would see me go on a beating/killing/raping spree of a couple of dozen people, leaving them fearful and in agonized pain.

              Justice would 1) see them doing their best to make it up to me for the things they did, 2) me understanding the motivations behind their actions (many would've been acting out of fear themselves, or going along with the crowd out of childish insecurity, some I know cried themselves to sleep wanting to defend me but fearing being treated the same or worse), and 3) us reaching a point where we could forgive each other and agree "the past is done, lets move on".

              I have a good reminder of revenge that I both hate and appreciate (reminds me "never lose control again"). Scars on my hands from when I quite literally "smashed his teeth in". Probably well deserved, perhaps taught him a lesson, but has remained one of my biggest regrets throughout my life.

              Revenge leaves you messed up inside. It's not like the movies where you kill the bad guy, his family, several associates and their family, and walk away scot-free. It's messy, painful, doesn't do one bit to stop the nightmares but adds new ones. Oh, and it gives other people a reason to seek revenge against you and your family. Looks great on screen when Bruce WIllis heroically shoots some unarmed person who is begging for life, doesn't feel so great IRL. Just causes many more problems,

              1. boltar Silver badge

                Re: Danny 14

                "Revenge leaves you messed up inside. "

                Speak for yourself. I did it to someone about 20 years ago. They deserved it and I have no regrets to this day, only a sense of satisfaction.

                1. sabroni Silver badge

                  Re: They deserved it and I have no regrets to this day, only a sense of satisfaction.

                  Thank fuck your morals are unquestionable, otherwise that would make you sound psychotic.

                  1. boltar Silver badge

                    Re: They deserved it and I have no regrets to this day, only a sense of satisfaction.

                    Buy yourself a dictionary and look up the definition of psychotic instead of throwing it around as some kind of killer putdown. You just make yourself sound foolish.

                    1. Kiwi Silver badge
                      Trollface

                      Re: They deserved it and I have no regrets to this day, only a sense of satisfaction.

                      Buy yourself a dictionary and look up the definition of psychotic instead of throwing it around as some kind of killer putdown. You just make yourself sound foolish.

                      Ahem..

                      From "Medicine Plus" :

                      "Psychotic disorders are severe mental disorders that cause abnormal thinking and perceptions. People with psychoses lose touch with reality. Two of the main symptoms are delusions and hallucinations. Delusions are false beliefs, such as thinking that someone is plotting against you or that the TV is sending you secret messages. Hallucinations are false perceptions, such as hearing, seeing, or feeling something that is not there."
                      (emphasis mine)

                      Well, your delusion that revenge=good and the probably associated hallucinations you experience certainly fit...

                      From The Free Dictionary :

                      "Psychosis is a symptom or feature of mental illness typically characterized by radical changes in personality, impaired functioning, and a distorted or nonexistent sense of objective reality."

                      Fits as well..

                      And from Dictionary.com :

                      "A mental state caused by psychiatric or organic illness, characterized by a loss of contact with reality and an inability to think rationally. A psychotic person often behaves inappropriately and is incapable of normal social functioning."

                      Also fits... Perhaps your dictionary needs and upgrade?

                      </troll>

                      Thinking "revenge=good" in modern 'civilised' societies certainly does fit most descriptions of psychotic, especially where the revenge taken involves acts of violence or force on the other person.

                2. Kiwi Silver badge

                  Re: Danny 14

                  "Revenge leaves you messed up inside. "

                  Speak for yourself. I did it to someone about 20 years ago. They deserved it and I have no regrets to this day, only a sense of satisfaction.

                  So you're saying that you were already a sick and twisted psychopath to begin with?

                  I'm not surprised.

                3. desht

                  Re: Danny 14

                  "Speak for yourself. I did it to someone about 20 years ago. They deserved it and I have no regrets to this day, only a sense of satisfaction."

                  In other words, you've been left messed up inside.

                  1. boltar Silver badge

                    Re: Danny 14

                    If you call that messed up then perhaps never go out in the street as you'd be petrified if you knew what most people are like. Stay tucked up in bed with your teddy bed poppet.

                    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                      Re: Danny 14

                      Certainly your calm tone and reasonable arguments are going a long way toward supporting your thesis. Maybe you should try threatening your interlocutors too?

                    2. Kiwi Silver badge
                      FAIL

                      Re: Danny 14

                      If you call that messed up then perhaps never go out in the street as you'd be petrified if you knew what most people are like.

                      Trust me, I know what evil is.

                      I also don't feel the need to be fearful of my neighbours - I don't live in a country where we're so scared of those around we try to claim a 'right' of carrying firearms with us all the time. Used to sleep with a baseball bat or golf club by the bed, but they only ever got used for their intended purpose and I grew out of that childish night terror more than 20 years ago (not saying other's aren't justified and perhaps even wise to do the same, just that where and how I live makes doing so rather childish)

                      I don't have the appearance of someone who can defend themselves, yet I happily walk the streets at night if I want. I don't live in an area known for being a 'nice, quiet suburb'.

                      See how messed up you are? Despite what was done to me during my childhood, despite what was forced on me then and as an adult, I've overcome most of that and gone on with my life. Feeling anger and rage and plotting murder and whatnot towards them only makes me feel bad, it doesn't do anything to them. If I was to go and actually do something, I'd wind up with a longer prison sentence then they got, and may even have to pay them compensation.

                      I live in a somewhat civilised society and, well, this is how civilised people live. Deal with it and move on. I know some people have a hard time doing that, finding the strength to forgive and leave it behind; I know I've had times of anger, rage, self-harm, serious thoughts on trying to do harm to them - but all that negativity achieves what?

                      Besides, at my age - most of those who hurt me are starting to find out what 'getting old' is - aches and pains, minor accidents leading to pain that takes months instead of days to heal, loss of job and finding out how hard it is for someone too close to 50 to get another thus watching their savings dwindle and their way of life end.

                      God says to leave judgement and revenge to Him. Now, when I see some of these people coming into the places I volunteer at, I can see why. I'm glad I never lifted a finger against them (well I did a couple of times - those same fingers have permanent reminders).

                      You come across as still angry and bitter despite your revenge. You're still living with it.

                      Tonight, if the weather clears, I'll enjoy a late-night spring walk through Naenae and perhaps even wander the banks of the river near Taita. I don't need to fear my neighbour, nor do I need to worry that someone thinks my revenge was 'unjust' and is coming for me. The only 'weapon' I'll carry is wits and cunning, what I have of them, because to carry anything else is a colossal waste of effort.

                      Stay as you are, thinking how great you are because you took your fear and anger out on someone. I'll enjoy being someone who got over the anger and fear and enjoys life without them. (well, mostly).

                      1. boltar Silver badge

                        Re: Danny 14

                        "Trust me, I know what evil is."

                        I'm not interested in what was done to you in your childhood or what you think you know now because you've discovered God. Don't assume your screwed up mental state applies to everyone else, it doesn't. I'm sure it would be nice to think everyone fits into your mold since its the only one you understand, but we don't. Bad luck. Bad to Psychoanalysis For Dummies for you.

                        "See how messed up you are?"

                        The irony. Seems to me you regret not having had your revenge but are now trying to justify this lack of balls to yourself as some moral standpoint and criticise those who did have them.

                        1. Kiwi Silver badge

                          Re: Danny 14

                          "Trust me, I know what evil is."

                          I'm not interested in what was done to you in your childhood or what you think you know now because you've discovered God.

                          Ah yes.. The old "So what if you were a victim of rape and violence? So what if you were a victim of attempted murder? You don't know anything about how bad people can be!

                          Yes, Trevor Potts tried to make the same claims about me once as well.

                          Does it make you feel better about yourself to minimise the harm rape does to a person? And you call my mental state into question?

                          When you can start to understand just how sick you really are perhaps then you can make claims about others. Until then, well, just keep posting and I'll let your words show you for what you really are.

                          Perhaps you should go to a local 'Woman's refuge' or equivalent and make your claims there - that people who are victims of rape and violence don't know what evil is? You might also learn about being on the receiving end of someone's 'revenge fantasy' and come away a little wiser, if not a lot sorer.

                          You truly are a messed-up individual.

                        2. Kiwi Silver badge

                          Re: Danny 14

                          The irony. Seems to me you regret not having had your revenge but are now trying to justify this lack of balls to yourself as some moral standpoint and criticise those who did have them.

                          A simple question you may be able to answer.

                          Had I acted out of revenge, at best I would've wound up with multiple criminal convictions and spent some years first at a psychiatric facility, maybe then borstal, then prison. At worst - assuming someone didn't kill me in self defence, I'd've been facing a life sentence.

                          How would that have improved my life over what I have already done?

                          I'd have hurt parents, siblings, uncles and aunts, grandparents and friends of the people who hurt me. In what fashion would that have made me better than those who hurt me? Why should those people leave me alone, when revenge is clearly justified?

                          How would hurting others have fixed the hurt in me?

                          You claim "lack of balls", but instead of acting like a coward I faced my fears and dealt with them in a way that made this place better.

                          Answer these questions. How would revenge have helped anyone? How would it have made my life better? Or are you just projecting, and you know it is you yourself who lacks courage?

                    3. desht

                      Re: Danny 14

                      No, most people aren't like you believe them to be. I'm really sorry your view of humanity is so fucked up; you must be a pretty unhappy individual. I stand by my comment that you are messed up inside. Get help.

            4. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Danny 14

              Revenge and justice are very closely related. You'll learn that as you get older

              It's thinking like that which keeps the U.S. Prison corporations thriving, their prisons full, and a permanent underclass of criminals.

      2. not.known@this.address Bronze badge

        Re: Not poetic enough

        ShadowDragon8685, having witnessed at first hand the pain and anguish and suffering these... "people" can cause, either of those two methods you mention are too quick. The ad being shown on UK television where some gentleman is complaining about losing his pension to some scammer (shown zooming around on a jetski) is well done and provides a warning, but it doesn't show the pain and suffering caused to people when they lose everything to these scum.

        Your idea that criminals like these will ever regret their actions is foolish and dangerously naïve - do you think it would be any trouble for them to con a psychiatrist into thinking they had changed? Then they will be back in the world and lining up their next victims, ready to do it all over again. Or do you truly believe they will see the error of their ways and get jobs flipping burgers or stacking shelves after living it up like lords on other people's pension funds? Because the only jobs available to people who behave like this is Member of Parliament or an executive-grade seat on the board of a large financial institution - and the competition for those positions is too great already.

        1. whbjr

          Re: Not poetic enough

          "... do you think it would be any trouble for them to con a psychiatrist into thinking they had changed?"

          Psychiatrists, particularly those who work with convicted felons, are usually pretty good at avoiding con-jobs. "The subject presented himself as reformed, but was unconvincing. Recommendation: Continued confinement."

        2. Kiwi Silver badge

          Re: Not poetic enough

          Your idea that criminals like these will ever regret their actions is foolish and dangerously naïve - do you think it would be any trouble for them to con a psychiatrist into thinking they had changed?

          Not realising that people can change (and some quite effectively when given a reason to learn empathy or even just to realise that in prison, money often buys them extra suffering) is naieve.

          But as whbjr said, those who work with convicts do well at spotting the cons (though many go the other way as well, assuming everyone is trying to con).

          Or do you truly believe they will see the error of their ways and get jobs flipping burgers or stacking shelves

          Why is it people so readily associate these jobs with criminals? Too much watching TV?

          There's people who will employ past convicts, and many of those convicts (especially those motivated to get out of what got them in) are quite skilled, intelligent, and decent people. They've done their time, end of. Maybe don't give a convicted fraudster or thief the keys to the safe (and those who have 'reformed'[cough spit splutter such-a-terrible-word-but-best-one-I-know] will often tell you they don't want to be placed in a position of temptation or risk of accusation), but certainly give them a job.

          In NZ you can do quite a bit before that first time they chuck you inside. Once you've been in, however, even briefly thinking about jaywalking before deciding against it could see you back inside on remand awaiting trial, and if a cop "thinks" you were up to no good or another accusation is levelled at you, you will have a harder time getting bail. They might, a month or two down the track, completely drop the charges and even front up and say "Sorry gov, we nabbed the wrong fella, no crime was actually committed even" but it's too late, whatever you've rebuilt after release is gone and you have to start over again.

          So, they're highly motivated to stay out of trouble. Outside you can brag about owning a gold-plated crapper and people will respect you and think good thoughts of you. Inside, mention you have money and all sorts of nasty people start wanting their cut.

        3. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Not poetic enough

          "Your idea that criminals like these will ever regret their actions is foolish and dangerously naïve"

          I personally know criminals who have changed and genuinely regret their past actions.

      3. Petergwilson

        Re: Not poetic enough

        Yep all of that but get the money first. It would make a nice deterrant. ;-)

        1. Drew Scriver Bronze badge

          Re: Not poetic enough

          Would it be cruel and unusual to install an old-fashioned phone in his cell and have some bot call him every hour or so?

          It could probably be configured so that he actually has listen to the presentation. Maybe a test after each 15 minute call. If he passes the test the next call will be scheduled an hour out. If he fails, he gets 10 minutes until the next call.

      4. Cederic Silver badge

        Re: Not poetic enough

        You appear to be mandating he spends the rest of his life in prison, which makes you a very nasty person.

        I like the person to whom you replied much more, for he was able to honestly acknowledge that his base impulses are inappropriate.

        Wanting to cause harm to someone as revenge is a natural response. Choosing to deny that pleasure to yourself is called civilisation.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Not poetic enough

          Wanting to cause harm to someone as revenge is a natural response. Choosing to deny that pleasure to yourself is called civilisation.

          Well said that man!

      5. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge
        Devil

        Re: Not poetic enough

        4] Incarceration until such time as a psychiatrist deems that he has grasped and internalized the pain and suffering that his fraudulent actions cause, that he empathizes with those persons, and shall not recidivism again.

        I'd replace this one with "worked off the remaining restitution and fine on a prisoner's wage". With interest.

      6. Henry Wertz 1 Gold badge

        Re: Not poetic enough

        Well, I'd love the drawing and quartering, dismemberment, etc. These assholes illegally robocall everyone in the country numerous times a day, harassing literally everyone in the country. They are truly subhuman.

      7. jake Silver badge

        Re: Not poetic enough

        You know just as well as I do that the "free money at the expense of the suckers" set can't be rehabilitated. So you'd prefer he die destitute, in prison, after suffering perhaps 50+ years of the hell of prison life, at taxpayer expense, verses meeting his end comparatively instantly at almost no cost to the taxpayer?

        Just asking.

        1. sabroni Silver badge

          Re: You know just as well as I do that... (people I dislike) ...can't be rehabilitated.

          Citation? Or is this one of those points where your incredibly rich life provides enough anecdotal "evidence"?

          1. Kiwi Silver badge
            Trollface

            Re: You know just as well as I do that... (people I dislike) ...can't be rehabilitated.

            Citation? Or is this one of those points where your incredibly rich life provides enough anecdotal "evidence"?

            How dare you question Jake! Why, if you were a CxO he'd fly over in his private jet and fire your ass immediately!

    2. Augie

      Re: Not poetic enough

      Oh do say, I expect many of us are harboring very simular thoughts.. mine involve water, voltage.. and OS/2 manuals...

      1. RayG

        Re: Not poetic enough

        OS/2 manuals? That's nasty.

  2. simonlb Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    The thick twat

    Fully deserved justice.

    Paris, obviously.

    1. tfewster Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: The thick twat

      Obviously he should lose every cent he profited from the crime. And obviously there should be an appropriate deterrent penalty on top, maybe cash or jail time.

      Though he, personally, may not have made $9m. But I guess he'll just have to sue the ring leaders to get "his" money back.

      1. Mark 85 Silver badge

        Re: The thick twat

        maybe cash or jail time.

        Re-read the article... he's getting up to 14 years jail time. Personally, I think things are bit lenient on the likes of them. Maybe go back few decades (ok.. more than a few) and hang 'em on the town square.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Paris Hilton

          Re: The thick twat

          Maybe go back few decades (ok.. more than a few) and hang 'em on the town square.

          Ah yes, revenge. Pure and simple. Well, simple anyway.

          Doesn't leave much room for letting people learn to do better. In a society where the value of life is much diminished and suicide seems a viable option, may prompt a few more towards "Have fun, die young, and leave a beautiful corpse swinging in the breeze". And of course there's all sorts of problems with how to undo it if you find you convicted the wrong person.

          Given the generally higher-than-average crime rates in countries that have the death penalty, it clearly works wonders as a deterrent and clearly helps to alleviate the victimisation of the general public. One should be applauded for such a simpletonsimplistic way to stop crime forevermore!

          Revenge involves making the person who did the crime suffer. That often causes considerable pain for those who love them, who then have a reason (not a justification) to seek revenge themselves, especially if they believe the revenge enacted against their loved one is unjust.

          Justice involves them working to undo the suffering they caused others. And having known too many crims, there really is no effective deterrent as they believe themselves unlikely to get caught. Even if getting caught is a consideration, few people know what prison is like until they actually experience it for themselves or spend time really listening to someone who has (someone who tells it straight, without exaggerating the ups or downs). Boredom, stress (and associated anger) and desperation (also associated anger/frustration) are the main motivators for crime and removing them the main preventer of crime.

          If you want justice, deal with the issues that lead to someone offending and get them back into the community as quickly as possible where they can help others.

      2. veti Silver badge

        Re: The thick twat

        Yeah, I'm sure suing the senior scumbags will work out for him. Surely he knows their names and addresses, what specific laws they broke in whatever jurisdiction they happen to be in, and I'm sure his inbox is overflowing with offers from high-powered lawyers eager to help him out...

        Seriously, where does anyone imagine this idiot is going to get $9m from?

        1. alain williams Silver badge

          Re: The thick twat

          Seriously, where does anyone imagine this idiot is going to get $9m from?

          I know nothing about his personal circumstances, but I agree: I doubt that he has anything like $9m.

          But the result will be to clean him out, ensure that he has nothing left as a result of all the crookery that he knowingly did causing misery to others. What this will do is to send a message to others who might be tempted by easy money and follow in his footsteps.

          1. Kiwi Silver badge

            Re: The thick twat

            What this will do is to send a message to others who might be tempted by easy money and follow in his footsteps.

            Where that sadly fails is the thinking "But he got caught because he... If I don't make his mistake, I won't get caught, but I can do the rest of what he did!".

            Look at the US's[1] high prison sentences, death penalties etc (including "shot by cops/security gaurds" executions) and yet they still have a fairly high crime rate. Clearly "deterrent sentences" don't work. Deterrent sentences never will work no matter how bad they are because "getting caught" almost never enters the mind.

            Increase the fear of getting caught and you can better prevent crimes. Keep 'getting caught' unlikely, and you can have '50 years extreme torture' as a sentence and see little more than 'a statistical anomaly' in the crime figures.

            [1] I use the US because they at least pretend towards being a decently civilised and just society, unlike other places where very minor things get you very long jail time.

            1. Mooseman Silver badge

              Re: The thick twat

              "the US because they at least pretend towards being a decently civilised and just society, unlike other places where very minor things get you very long jail time"

              Like the US 3 strikes law where you can be sentenced to indefinite incarceration for petty theft?

              You are right though - deterrents don't work. Once the state starts its own official murder system (something we have managed to avoid in the UK despite the baying mob from the Mail et al) then it is no better than any criminal, even assuming the "right" person was executed in the first place.

              1. Kiwi Silver badge
                Pint

                Re: The thick twat

                "the US because they at least pretend towards being a decently civilised and just society, unlike other places where very minor things get you very long jail time"

                Like the US 3 strikes law where you can be sentenced to indefinite incarceration for petty theft?

                Well, I did say "pretend towards. I'd forgotten they'd gotten that bad.

                assuming the "right" person was executed in the first place.

                One of the 'interesting' facets of their laws is cases like[1] someone in a DNA lab falsifying evidence to get a person convicted because she felt sure he was guilty and wanted to help make the case stick - effectively using the state to murder a person she didn't like. IIRC she only got a few years where her multiple victims were executed.

                Of course, there have been numerous cases where people accused of a crime have later been found innocent, sometimes even where the police themselves falsify evidence to get a conviction.

                And I do so love our system where someone claims their innocence throughout, and gets more and more penalised by the system even where it's obvious if they were doing it for gain they'd change their tune (I also know people who plead guilty after giving up on getting fair treatment - and NZ's system is no where near as bad as the US!)

                [1] I cannot remember specifics, but there have been cases of evidence falsification in murder trials in the US.

                1. Electronics'R'Us Bronze badge

                  Re: The thick twat

                  You can read about problems with wrongful convictions at The Innocence Project

                  You can find out about misapplication of forensic evidence at this page.

                  1. Kiwi Silver badge
                    Pint

                    Re: The thick twat

                    You can read about problems with wrongful convictions at The Innocence Project

                    Thanks for those links as well.. The stuff on DNA itself is very interesting (I've long held the view that many bits of 'DNA evidence' are unreliable, since hair is very easily transferable (unless you're bald, you leave lots of it on your office chair for a start...), as are 'bodily fluids' if you can catch and transport them. But I didn't realise the amount of stuff that has been overturned in forensics!

                    Seems we've collected a stalky random downvoter. Must have upset someone. Well done! :)

          2. JohnFen Silver badge

            Re: The thick twat

            Not to mention having to hand over everything he earns (except for what the courts will allow for living expenses) for the rest of his life.

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: The thick twat

      pleading guilty = "mercy of the court". no appeal, but typically not as bad as after going through a trial. $9 million was probably being *kind*. $900 million is more like what a jury would award after a full blown trial...

      1. Tomato Krill

        Re: The thick twat

        Except the jury dont award anything, they decide guilt

        1. JimmyPage Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Except the jury dont award anything, they decide guilt

          Depends on what state, and what law ....

          1. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

            Re: Except the jury dont award anything, they decide guilt

            If this is the case, and in the US, juries are asked to decide not only on the verdict of a trial, but on the sentence as well, then what is even the point of having judges? You might as well have mob rule.

            Judges generally have two roles in a court case - making the decision, based on the evidence, of whether a case has merit (e.g. whether the plaintiff is guilty), and deciding the sentence, based on sentencing guidelines, severity, context, and in relation to other offenders and other crimes of a similar nature. A jury can be reasonably expected to perform the first of these roles, although you're still throwing the dice a little bit, depending on the biases of jurors. I'd not let a jury anywhere near sentencing, unless you want an inconsistent mess, and in the US, a massive increase in the use of the death penalty.

            1. MJB7 Silver badge

              Re: Except the jury dont award anything, they decide guilt

              I agree the jury shouldn't decide sentence, but the sentence is 14 years in jail + $250,000. The rest of the $9M is civil restitution to the victims of the crime. In the US it is quite common for juries to decide civil damages (which are then often reduced to something reasonable on appeal). Thus it would be logical for the jury to be responsible for deciding restitution damages in criminal cases.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Except the jury dont award anything, they decide guilt

              "Determining sentences for criminals depends on various factors. Before analyzing these factors, familiarity with some background information is helpful. In capital punishment cases, the jury usually decides whether to recommend death or life in prison). " - https://criminal.findlaw.com/criminal-procedure/factors-considered-in-determining-sentences.html

            3. Boo Radley

              Re: Except the jury dont award anything, they decide guilt

              In federal cases like this, the jury has no say in sentencing. Be that as it may, he pled guilty, so no jury was involved. The judge determines the sentence using the previous sentence report, which uses charts with the dollar amount of the crime, offenders age and other details. The judge usually follows these sentencing recommendations.

              1. Robert Helpmann?? Silver badge
                Childcatcher

                Re: Except the jury dont award anything, they decide guilt

                In federal cases like this, the jury has no say in sentencing. Be that as it may, he pled guilty, so no jury was involved.

                You mean other than the grand jury because that was still part of the process leading to the scammer's indictment.

            4. Carpet Deal 'em Bronze badge

              Re: Except the jury dont award anything, they decide guilt

              As a matter of course, the jury typically isn't involved in setting a sentence. However, there is usually a separate sentencing jury in death penalty cases that ultimately decides the question of life or death.

              1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

                Re: Except the jury dont award anything, they decide guilt

                In some states, in some cases, the defendant can be charged with "open murder", and the jury can acquit or convict on first- or second-degree murder for the same act. That in effect lets the jury have significant say over the sentence.

  3. vogon00
    Pint

    Basic rules :-

    1) Actions have consequences (If you get caught, which you must be prepared to be).

    2) There is always some one smarter or more authoritative than you (Not necessarily the same thing).

    3) Forget smarts - experience,common sense and pragmatism count more.

    3) If in doubt, consult rules #2 and #3.

    This numpty has spent time doing stuff 'against the law' not to mention common decency (Actually, I wrote those in the wrong order, but never mind).

    They then hypocritically attempt legal shenanigans to wriggle off the hook. Judge said 'Legal B.S. aside, you're guilty, F.U., here's your punishment, Sayōnara'.

    Pint for the Judge, as there is no Vino or G&T icon available (Do west-pondian judges even *do* G&T?) .

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      getting caught

      people who get caught are ALWAYS sorry... sorry they GOT CAUGHT

    2. Tomato Krill

      You have yourself a recursive loop there with your pair of point 3s

    3. Stoneshop Silver badge
      Thumb Up

      Do west-pondian judges even *do* G&T?

      85% of the known worlds in the galaxy do. Even the less advanced ones, so a fair chance that you can get jynnan tonnyx, gee-N’N-T’N-ix, jinond-o-nicks, chinanto/mnigs or tzjin-anthony-ks in the US.

      1. Kane Silver badge

        Re: Do west-pondian judges even *do* G&T?

        No love for That Old Janx Spirit?

        1. vogon00

          Re: Do west-pondian judges even *do* G&T?

          On the contrary, Old Janx is a personal favourite...

          I was indulging in the export version when posting (Cunningly disguised in a Merlot bottle to avoid GST*) which accounts for both the recursive loop identified by TK above, and my delay in replying.

          I lost a couple of days somewhere, then I couldn't hop a ride back from the Orion system...:)

          Apologies to both :-)

          *GST:Galactic Sales Tax

          1. Kane Silver badge
            Boffin

            Re: Do west-pondian judges even *do* G&T?

            "Cunningly disguised in a Merlot bottle to avoid GST*

            *GST:Galactic Sales Tax"

            So you employ the services of Disaster Area's Chief Research Accountant then!

            1. vogon00

              Re: Do west-pondian judges even *do* G&T?

              Not necessary, as I am an *honest* tax-avoiding citizen, not the totally 'bent' type that Disaster Area employ. It's usually a good policy to avoid 'bent'. :-)

  4. Anonymous Coward
    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      I'll sing the words...

      "Oh my heart it bleeds for you...."

  5. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

    Always read carefully before you sign.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Poor guy. I would've given him a much harder sentence making big rocks into smaller rocks in Death Valley. In the middle of summer.

  7. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

    Of course he wasn't listening. He spent his entire "career" reading from a script and "listening skills" is not a requirement.

  8. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge

    Congratulations! You've been pardoned! We're connecting you to an operator now...

    I hope his jail cell has a phone that only takes incoming calls.

    1. sanmigueelbeer Silver badge

      Re: Congratulations! You've been pardoned! We're connecting you to an operator now...

      I hope his jail cell has a phone that only takes incoming calls from Lenny.

      There, FTFY.

      1. julian.smith
        Devil

        Re: LENNY

        Regrettably, LENNY only takes inwards calls

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Congratulations! You've been pardoned! We're connecting you to an operator now...

      "I hope his jail cell has a phone that only takes incoming calls."

      And *ALWAYS* at an INCONVENIENT time!

      Oh, you're on the CRAPPER? *ring* *ring* "Your mi-cro-soft com-pu-tor has a vi-rus and needs our help. Please press 1 now to speak with a tech-ni-cian"

      1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

        Re: Congratulations! You've been pardoned! We're connecting you to an operator now...

        "Please press 1 now to speak with a tech-ni-cian"

        is that how its done these days? ( i dont get these calls for some reason*)

        Automated gullible mark selection. wow.

        *possibly because whenever my land line rings I just pick up the receiver and drop it back down.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Congratulations! You've been pardoned! We're connecting you to an operator now...

          I don't get many but I think it's because when I get one I ask the caller to hang on a moment and put the phone to one side for a while before hanging up. I consider it a public duty to keep them from calling anyone else for as long a s possible but I think it's got me blacklisted.

    3. phuzz Silver badge

      Re: Congratulations! You've been pardoned! We're connecting you to an operator now...

      That would work both ways, he'd be getting annoying spam calls, and he could explain to the spammers the consequences of their actions.

  9. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
    Happy

    I believe the phrase is...

    Tee fucking hee!

    With a side order of yippee!

  10. JohnFen Silver badge

    The picture

    The picture with this article expresses my opinion perfectly.

  11. FozzyBear Silver badge
    Angel

    BWHAHAHAHAHA

    Suck shit you low life scumbag.

  12. Boo Radley

    Federal Prison

    Any money earned from his job in prison will be seized for that restitution order. Perhaps even money people may send him for his commissary account. He'll really learn what it's like to be penny less. Couldn't happen to a nicer guy.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: Federal Prison

      the sad part, his legal fees could have EXCEEDED that had he gone through a trial... which would have been BETTER justice.

      1. Neoc

        Re: Federal Prison

        Not really - simply another bunch of scum (the lawyers) stealing money, really.

      2. Tomato Krill

        Re: Federal Prison

        Isn't the point of restitution that it attempts to make the victims whole?

        1. JohnFen Silver badge

          Re: Federal Prison

          Yes, I suspect that he meant "punitive fine", not "restitution". There's a reason that they are considered separately.

  13. earl grey Silver badge
    Flame

    cue Nelson

    Ha Ha

  14. jake Silver badge

    I believe the word all y'all are looking for is ...

    ... dumbass.

    1. Mark Exclamation

      Re: I believe the word all y'all are looking for is ...

      Stop insulting asses....!

      1. jake Silver badge

        Re: I believe the word all y'all are looking for is ...

        A part of the word is not necessarily a word unto itself. Or do you condone AOL dropping Scunthorpe and Penistone from the face of the Earth?

        1. Alister Silver badge

          Re: I believe the word all y'all are looking for is ...

          Frankly I wouldn't miss Penistone...

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: I believe the word all y'all are looking for is ...

            Good point, Alister. It hasn't been the same since the newbie "locals" allowed the yuppification of the White Hart, including changing the name to "White Heart" ... And it used to be a fairly decent pub, too. Shame, that.

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: I believe the word all y'all are looking for is ...

              Even worse, the White Hart in Holmfirth went through being Brambles and has arrived at Harvey's. It seems to have been a popular pub name in the area. Could they all date back to Richard II?

              1. jake Silver badge

                Re: I believe the word all y'all are looking for is ...

                "Could they all date back to Richard II?"

                I seriously doubt it. Consider, for example, the self-styled "Original White Hart" in Ringwood. It only dates back to the reign of Henry VII ... Seems to me that the Yorkists & Lancastrians had enough time to have a major hissy-fit between Richard II and Henry VII ...

                (I have a small interest in the various White Harts dotted about E,S&W ... a couple friends and I decided to try to visit all of them during the summer break between upper & lower 6th. We failed in the quest, but had a hell of a good time in our failure!)

        2. Mark Exclamation

          Re: I believe the word all y'all are looking for is ...

          @Jake, as a result of your hurriedness to be a smartarse (see what I did there? Not meaning to insult you personally, just continuing the subject), I think you were, in the first instance, incorrect. I think you'll find "dumbass" is actually the joining of two words, to make a more insulting third word. An ass is biologically dumb, so really there was no real reason to join them in the first place, other than to make a better-sounding insult. (Shades of Sir Humphrey Appleby, sorry).

          1. jake Silver badge

            Re: I believe the word all y'all are looking for is ...

            Regardless, Mark, let's try a thought experiment ... If I were to call you a dumbass, do you honestly think that any proverbial thinking man of the last 50 years would think I in any way, shape, or form meant anything to do with the animal?

            Or does the single word "dumbass" now have specific meaning outside it's origin?

    2. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: I believe the word all y'all are looking for is ...

      I was actually thinking "schadenfreude"

  15. Felonmarmer

    Actual effect?

    And the moral of the story (from the scammers perspective), don't scam people from the same country you are living in.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Actual effect?

      don't scam people from the same country you are living in

      Mostly they don't. Which raises the question of why the telephone companies of the world have the technology to make calls from overseas look like they have a domestic origin, but it's beyond their ability to provide a way for the recipients to know the origin. Any use of domestic numbers for calls from overseas is an attempt to deceive.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Actual effect?

        "it's beyond their ability to provide a way for the recipients to know the origin"

        It isn't* and if they were legally obliged to do that they would.

        * Allowing for the fact they might only be able to label it as "International" which should be enough.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge
        Boffin

        Re: Actual effect?

        Which raises the question of why the telephone companies of the world have the technology to make calls from overseas look like they have a domestic origin,

        In the few cases of these calls I met, they were claiming to be from overseas and had an overseas number, but I suspect few people really pay attention to the number at that point of the call, nor do they consider whether or not such a call should be local or not. How many phone companies, power companies etc outsourced their call centres to overseas places?

        As to the call location, it's not the phone companies it's "business centres" at fault - you want to go away for a few months but still be able to conduct legitimate business locally? You hire a 'business centre' where your incoming calls go to them and they forward it to you, and you ring them first for your outgoing calls. Means you can be well out of area but still appear local.

        Now.. Why the telcos aren't blocking such numbers from even calling in to the country in the first place, well.. Perhaps something to do with those 'outsourced call centres; I mentioned above and perhaps the people in the call centre were earning a bit extra on the side? If the telco blocks the call centre coz of scammers, they have to get another one, rinse and repeat.

      3. C_D

        Re: Actual effect?

        I suppose options like Skype account + VPN may exist.

        It's not used now-a-days since most things are taken care of by email. Talk about a security hole!

  16. Aristotles slow and dimwitted horse Silver badge

    Summary justice yes. But...

    But it is a bit odd how so many people fell for the scam. I find it hard to believe that they were all genuine tax dodgers who thought that their game was up. At the very least if someone phones you up suggesting that they are the IRS and that you owe tax then you would have expected the targets to request written proof before ponying up without a challenge?

    1. Blofeld's Cat
      Devil

      Re: Summary justice yes. But...

      My sister nearly fell for a UK version of the same scam, as she was in the middle of a rather messy divorce at the time. Given the difficulty of separating her finances from those of her ex., a modest tax demand was not entirely unexpected.

      Fortunately her previous dealings with officialdom made her ask for written confirmation ...

    2. Benson's Cycle

      Re: Summary justice yes. But...

      These people are targeting those with mild dementia. There's a lot of them.

    3. Loyal Commenter Silver badge

      Re: Summary justice yes. But...

      My undertanding of the US tax system is that it is byzantine in its complexity, and that as a result, it is easy to make a mistake, and the IRS likes to go after people for unpaid tax. Nothing to do with 'dodging' tax, more about making honest mistakes.

    4. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Re: Summary justice yes. But...

      But it is a bit odd how so many people fell for the scam

      We have no idea what proportion of calls yielded a result.

      could be one in 1000

    5. JohnFen Silver badge

      Re: Summary justice yes. But...

      "I find it hard to believe that they were all genuine tax dodgers who thought that their game was up."

      I rather suspect that none of them were, that instead they thought a serious error had been made either by them or the IRS. A lot of people are terrified by the IRS and pretty much will agree to pay whatever they think the IRS wants just to ensure that their life won't be made even worse.

  17. herman Silver badge
    Angel

    Hmm, to me, these scammers sound no different than thousands of perfectly legal churches all over America, which preach a lie and collect money for nothing.

    1. jake Silver badge

      "Hmm, to me, these scammers sound no different than thousands of perfectly legal churches all over the world, which preach a lie and collect money for nothing."

      FTFY. No charge.

      1. Tom 7 Silver badge

        But Churches are devious enough to know that you cant sue by the time you find out for real there is no afterlife!

        1. Blofeld's Cat
          Coat

          Ironically at that point you may also find yourself surrounded by hundreds of lawyers.

          It's warm there so you won't need that coat.

  18. Tom 7 Silver badge

    I've always felt that the US plea bargaining was not remotely realated to justice

    but every cloud has a silver lining.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    terrible

    having worked so hard he gets over 10 years AND he's gonna lose his hard-earned money?! AND gonna get deported after that?! Where's justice in that?!

  20. dnicholas Bronze badge

    Got off lightly

    If it were up to me, I'd feed him and his ilk through a wood chipper, feet first. Slowly.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I don't think his victims will be feeling sorry for him, rather more they'll be hoping he gets the shit kicked out of him in prison.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Downvoters, I hope your elderly relatives who are suffering from early Alzheimers don't get scammed by scum like this otherwise you might view them as filth as I do owing to my now deceased mother in law and my friends father falling victim. These are not victimless crimes and leave those vulnerable people frightened and even more confused.

      Think on.

      1. Kiwi Silver badge

        Think on.

        I do.

        Which is why you gained a couple of extra downvotes.

  22. Aussie Doc
    Windows

    Meelionzzz

    I suppose he'll be able to pay the money back a few bucks a month or something?

    Not sure how they get the money otherwise ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  23. Diddles

    It's great that one of these turnips has been caught and prosecuted, but there are still far too many unwanted calls from scammers for my liking. It's about time the governments and phone companies did more to stop it.

    1. Prst. V.Jeltz Silver badge

      Yeah!

      For a start when someone says to a phone co

      "I'd like to rent a line that charges the caller £15 i minute",

      instead of saying "yessir , anything else we can do to assist you in your crime?"

      They could phone the police!

      and then , ideally , the police would do something about it, rather than filing it under "ooh thats a bit technical and hard to prove / prosecute"

  24. hayzoos
    IT Angle

    restitution, but not whole

    There is a point where restitution does not make the victim whole again. Somebody losing their life savings for years until the restitution is made has likely accumulated other financial damages due to the lack of said life savings. In some instances opportunity lost can never be regained or compensated. In this case determining this additional damage is a monumental task. Being fair and just is not easy.

    I'm not defending this guy's actions, but how is it that full restitution is laid in his lap? I'm all for getting the victims their money back. I'm afraid that the system may look at the case as "this is all we can do, so that's what we get". Somebody does have to pay the bill for investigation and prosecution. Even with a conviction not all those costs are covered.

  25. MrMerrymaker Bronze badge

    Good news about scammers, for a change

    That's all!

  26. C_D

    KEEP HIM

    Or ship him to the moon or something. I'm an Indian and this whole scam & trial is an insult. Such scum shouldn't be allowed on this planet.

    I'm sure India (I know I speak for the entire country) doesn't really want him back... I mean what would we do with him?

  27. nielhirjee

    Giving Indians a bad name, so good riddance

    It is good to know that Viraj Patel has been made to repay his debt to society in full measure.

    From the Indian point of view, it was these scammy call centers which would grow fast, offer unnaturally high salaries, splurge on weekend office parties and otherwise unlevel the playing field with their ill gotten gains such that it became difficult for honest businesses to compete and remain honest.

    Everyone was in the know or at least suspected that these call centers were involved with scammy activities. Their partners and vendors knew, the hundreds of employes who were making phone calls to the USA / UK certainly knew what they were doing, the quasi-governmental industry associations knew and the politicians / ministers were in the know because it was they who would tell the cops to look the other way when reports of cybercrimes from the USA / UK would reach the police in India. Yet no one did anything except applaud the supernatural growth and profits of these scamsters and their businesses.

    The bubble burst when a few big call centers were raided by the police and shut down. The smaller scamsters got the message and quietly changed their business model. The owners of the big call centers were arrested, got bail and will walk free eventually because the conviction rate in India is unbeleivably low for such crimes. Their partners in crime - the employees who made the phone calls, people in quasi-governmental industry associations who give them awards and accolades willy nilly, the politicians / ministers who graced their events and told the cops to look the other way and the cops themselves have been allowed to get away scot-free. There has been no investigation and no charges filed against any of these people.

    That the owners of the scammy call centers in India were prosecuted - albeit unsuccessfully - was in itself an achievement which would have been impossible had the top software publisher in the world, in whose name the scams were carried out and whose users were getting scammed, not insisted upon it.

    So it is good to see someone, somewhere getting his just desserts.

  28. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scammers

    Press 1 for in cell room service...

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