EDWARDSVILLE - A man from Des Plaines, Ill. has been charged with deceiving an elderly woman out of nearly $150,000 worth of gold coins as part of a false identity theft scam.

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Ligneshkumar H. Patel, 37, of Des Plaines, Ill. was charged with two counts of theft on March 9, 2024. He allegedly stole nearly $150,000 worth of Krugerrand gold coins from a 73-year-old victim by means of deception.

A petition filed to deny Patel’s pretrial release states the scam involved a false security code and more.

“Victim advised she was told by certain individuals that her identity had been stolen and that a federal investigation was opened,” the petition states. “Victim advised she was instructed to use funds from her retirement account to purchase gold. Victim purchased $148,000 worth of gold coins. Victim was then instructed to transfer the coins to an individual that responded to her residence.

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“Victim was provided a security code that was confirmed by the individual that responded to her residence. The individual then took the gold coins and left victim’s residence.”

The petition adds that Patel was arrested for a similar crime in Wisconsin and admitted to other thefts around the Metro East.

“Defendant was arrested in Wisconsin and charged with Theft related charges following an investigation in which defendant responded to a victim's residence in Wisconsin to take U.S. Currency from the victim,” the petition states. “Defendant was interviewed and admitted to doing similar thefts in St. Louis and in Edwardsville.”

In Patel’s vehicle, officers reportedly found “gold wrappers and a confirmation receipt with victim's name listed on it.” As a resident of another jurisdiction, the petition argues he has a “high likelihood of willful flight to avoid prosecution.”

The Edwardsville Police Department presented the case against Patel, who faces a Class 1 felony for theft and a Class 2 felony for theft by deception from a person over the age of 60. Court documents indicate he was remanded to jail to be held until his initial appearance in court.

The issuance of charges is based solely upon probable cause and is not an indication of guilt. All subjects charged with criminal offenses are considered innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

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