Lottery Scam Deceives Elderly for $2.8 Million: Seven Suspects Face Charges
A sophisticated lottery scam targeting the elderly was recently found. Seven individuals have been indicted following a federal investigation. The elaborate scheme involved mail fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering, specifically preying on vulnerable senior citizens across the United States, including in western Pennsylvania.
The Department of Justice has charged seven persons aged 26-38 from Jamaica, Florida, New York and Connecticut.
These defendants are accused of orchestrating a fraudulent operation that misled elderly individuals into believing they had won multi-million-dollar prizes. To claim their supposed winnings, victims were deceitfully instructed to pay taxes and fees upfront. They even received forged documents, purportedly from government agencies, to lend credibility to the scam. Victims were manipulated into sending money, including cash, checks, and money orders, to the scammers.
The U.S. Attorney's Office in Pittsburgh revealed that this criminal enterprise succeeded in swindling a staggering $2.8 million from its victims. The suspects now face a potential prison sentence of up to 20 years.
"This case showcases a distressing exploitation of some of our society's most vulnerable individuals," stated FBI Pittsburgh special agent.
The suspects are alleged to have laundered the stolen funds through various bank accounts, ultimately transferring them to Jamaica. The arrest of these individuals marks a significant step in combating the rise of lottery scams.