3 charged with scamming Tennesseans out of nearly $1M

Riptesh Patel, Gopalbhai Patel and Ashokkumar Raval (Courtesy: Tennessee Bureau of Investigation)

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Three men from Florida are charged with scamming Tennesseans over the phone out of nearly $1 million, according to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation.

The TBI reported Gopalbhai Patel, 59,  Riptesh Patel, 35,  and Ashokkumar Raval, 63, called Tennessee residents and threatened to arrest them if they didn’t deposit money into a specific bank account.

Investigators determined the men received over $900,000 from the scheme and funneled the money into overseas accounts from a bank account originally opened in Williamson County.

The trio was taken into custody on Friday. Gopalbhai Patel and  Riptesh Hasmukhlal Patel were arrested in Orlando and Raval was arrested in Tampa.

Each man was charged with conspiracy to commit theft over $250,000 and one count of money laundering. They are being held without bond.

Multiple law enforcement partner agencies assisted with the investigation and subsequent arrests, including The Florida Department of Law Enforcement, the Tampa Police Department, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, and the Internal Revenue Service.