Ligneshkumar H. Patel

An Indian-origin man from Des Plaines, Illinois, faces felony charges in St. Louis County and Madison County, Illinois, for allegedly scamming elderly residents in cash and gold.

Ligneshkumar H. Patel, 37, was charged with stealing $25,000 or more in St. Louis County and faces two counts of felony theft in Madison County.

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Patel, currently detained in Sheboygan County, Wisconsin, was arrested in Plymouth, Wisconsin, for another suspected scam.

In the St. Louis County case, a 76-year-old victim received a fake alert claiming her information was compromised, directing her to call a supposed Microsoft number.

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She was then connected to someone posing as a Federal Trade Commission agent who falsely claimed her computer was used for illicit activities and demanded $100,000 to restore her identity, eventually settling for $50,000.

The victim withdrew the money and handed it over to a person in a Mercedes sedan. When they demanded another $50,000, she contacted the police.

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University City Police linked Patel to the scam through his vehicle and cellphone location.

Patel was also involved in a Madison County scam where a 73-year-old victim lost nearly $150,000 in gold coins after being deceived about a federal investigation into her identity theft.

Authorities found gold wrappers and a receipt with the victim’s name in Patel’s vehicle. He admitted to the thefts in both University City and Edwardsville.