Shocking Scams by Indian-Origin Man Targeting Elders in Missouri and Illinois

Written on 06/08/2024
Asia91 Team

St. Louis County, MO and Madison County, IL – A suburban Chicago man, Ligneshkumar H. Patel, 37, has been charged with targeting elderly women in University City, Missouri, and Edwardsville, Illinois, scamming them out of tens of thousands of dollars in either cash or gold.


Details of the Scams:


March 9 Incident in Edwardsville:


  • Victim: 73-year-old woman.


  • Scam: The victim was informed that her identity had been stolen and instructed to purchase $148,000 worth of gold Krugerrand coins for an alleged federal investigation.


  • Outcome: The victim handed over the gold coins to a person who arrived at her home.



March 19 Incident in University City:


  • Victim: 76-year-old woman.


  • Scam: The victim received a desktop alert claiming her information was compromised and was directed to contact a fake Microsoft number. The scammer, posing as a U.S. Federal Trade Commission representative, convinced her to withdraw $50,000 in cash, promising to restore her identity.


  • Outcome: The victim handed over the cash to a driver in a dark-colored Mercedes-Benz sedan. A follow-up call asking for an additional $50,000 raised her suspicions, leading her to contact the police.




Patel was arrested in Wisconsin for running a similar scam. The investigation revealed significant evidence tying him to the crimes, including a vehicle matching the description given by the victims, license plate data, and cellphone records placing him in the vicinity of the incidents.



Additionally, a receipt with the Edwardsville victim’s name was found in Patel's car. As a result, the St. Louis County Prosecuting Attorney’s Office has charged Patel with stealing $25,000 or more, and he faces two counts of theft from the Madison County State’s Attorney’s Office.