A 40-year-old Woodbridge woman has pleaded guilty and agreed to pay back $4.1 million for her role in an international identity theft, wire fraud and money-laundering scheme.
The complex illegal enterprise involved stolen identities, including that of “Smallville” and “Supergirl” actress Laura Vandervoort. Jacqueline Green-Morris said in court Tuesday that she helped further the scheme by laundering money though the government contracting firm where she had worked since 2009.
Starting in 2012, Green-Morris would file fake invoices for work never performed by companies owned by Amit Chaudhry, an Ashburn resident accused of masterminding the criminal group’s U.S. operations. In exchange, she was paid several thousand dollars per invoice. She made several million dollars over four years from her involvement, according to prosecutors, which her plea agreement requires her to repay. She has agreed to give up claims to her home and car as part of that effort. She will also have to pay back taxes on undeclared income.
Arrested in June, Green-Morris was out on supervised release pending sentencing. She could go to prison for two decades but is likely to receive a reduced sentence for her cooperation.
Chaudhry was being held without bond; the case against him is pending. According to prosecutors, Chaudhry, his siblings, other relatives and associates in India stole the identities of at least hundreds and maybe thousands of people. They used some of those identities and credit cards to create shell companies that could qualify for and drain high-balance credit accounts, prosecutors said.
Sudhakar Jha of Georgia has also pleaded guilty to involvement in the scheme. In addition to creating and using shell companies with fake identities, Jha said he and his son Tanav Jha helped operate a travel website that would pocket users’ deposits and pay for their flight bookings with stolen credit card information. The case against Tanav Jha is pending.
Vandervoort’s stolen identity helped FBI investigators nail down the illegal activity, they said, because an agent recognized her picture on a fake passport used to justify suspicious charges.
The sprawling conspiracy involved many millions of dollars, authorities said, and despite two years of investigation, they believe they have only scratched the surface. Several accused conspirators have fled to India.
People who believe they might have been affected should submit their complaints online at www.ic3.gov, and include the keyword “CCTRAVELVICTIM” in the “Description of the Incident” field.