Detectives arrested a Las Vegas couple accused of scamming people nationwide out of more than $400,000, including a woman in Cowlitz County out of $35,000.
Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office detective Lorenzo Gladson has been actively working the case for more than a year leading to the arrests of Neeraj Kohli, 39, and Shweta Kohli, 36.
The investigation began when a Cowlitz County woman reported being contacted by a man who told her that her computer had a virus and her data would be lost if she didn’t send him money.
The woman did not realize it was a scam until after losing thousands of dollars, according to deputies.
During the investigation, Gladson identified victims across the country.
A nationwide extraditable warrant was issued for the Kohlis and they were located and arrested at their home in Las Vegas on Monday.
Detectives said their phone scams included claiming people owed taxes to the IRS and they would be arrested if they didn’t send money. The suspects received MoneyGram funds, according to deputies, and surveillance cameras caught the Kohlis picking up money at a Walmart store.
Detectives said the scams were carried out between December 2015 and March 2016.
One victim in Virginia was bilked out of $105,000, according to deputies. The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office reported that there were four victims in Washington.
The Kohlis were booked into jail in Las Vegas without bail as they await extradition to Washington to face charges of first-degree theft.
Investigators said the couple may face federal charges and they are also not believed to legally be in the U.S.
Copyright 2017 KPTV-KPDX Broadcasting Corporation. All rights reserved.