Woman holding dual J’can-US citizenship pleads guilty in lottery scam

Thursday, September 29, 2016

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WASHINGTON, DC, USA — A dual Jamaican/United States citizen has pleaded guilty for her role in a Jamaican-based fraudulent lottery scheme, the Department of Justice announced yesterday.

The woman, Felecia Roxanne Lindo, 32, who is currently residing in New York, pleaded guilty in the Western District of North Carolina to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Lindo was charged in connection with a fraudulent lottery scheme based in Jamaica that induced victims in the United States to send her hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover purported fees for lottery winnings that victims had not won and never received.

Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.

"The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting those responsible for fraudulent international lottery schemes, which frequently target elderly Americans," said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. "We will continue to pursue and prosecute this criminal activity, wherever the fraudsters may be."

"Today’s prosecution represents another step in our efforts to stem the tide of international scams preying on innocent Americans," US Attorney Jill Westmorland Rose for the Western District of North Carolina said yesterday. "Fraudsters located outside the United States frequently rely on co-conspirators in the United States to help their scams succeed. Such illegal conduct will be investigated and prosecuted," said Rose.

This prosecution is part of the Department of Justice’s effort working with federal and local law enforcement to combat fraudulent lottery schemes in Jamaica preying on American citizens. According to the US Postal Inspection Service, Americans have lost tens of millions of dollars to fraudulent foreign lotteries.

Lindo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud with enhanced penalties for telemarketing. As part of her guilty plea, Lindo acknowledged that from in or about 2011 through at least in or about September 2012, she was a member of a conspiracy that targeted victims in the United States. Victims of the scheme received a telephone call stating that they had won money in a sweepstake or lottery. Victims were instructed to send thousands of dollars for fees or other expenses in order to release their purported lottery winnings. Victims sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Lindo in the United States, who then forwarded a portion of the money to Jamaica. Lindo acknowledged there was no lottery and no winnings were paid and that she kept some the victims’ money for her own benefit.

"The Postal Inspection Service seeks to stop the victimisation of American citizens, many of whom are older Americans, by those engaged in international lottery schemes," said Inspector in Charge David W Bosch of the US Postal Inspection Service’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Division. "Regardless whether these criminals reside within our borders or beyond, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners here and abroad to bring these offenders to justice."

Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Mizer and US Attorney Rose commended the investigative efforts of the US Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Raquel Toledo of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch, with the assistance of Assistant US Attorney Kelli H Ferry of the Western District of North Carolina.

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