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Angel Hristov December 18, 2023 3 min read
US Government Indicts Seven People Related to a Jamaican Lottery Fraud
Experts highlighted the importance of protecting vulnerable people from such fraud
Last week, the US Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh announced the indictments of seven men allegedly connected to a lottery scam that targeted American citizens. The operation was based in Jamaica and required international cooperation between authorities to bust.
As reported by the Pittsburgh office, the arrested men include both Jamaicans and Americans. The full list of indicted individuals includes the following:
- Jason Plummer, 31 – Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Troy Williams, 38 – Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Tajay Singh, 26 – Montego Bay, Jamaica
- Tashane Murray, 30 – Florida
- Clevon McKenzie, 31 – New York
- Gyzzell Byfield, 27 – Connecticut
- Daneil Reid, 27 – Florida
The seven men have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud and money laundering. They ran a fraudulent lottery scheme whereby they would tell their victims that they had won huge sums of money and then ask them to pay huge taxes and fees.
The frauds would forge documents to boost the credibility of their scheme. In total, the lottery fraud has earned roughly $2.8 million. The operators laundered the money through a network of accounts and money mules before withdrawing it in Jamaica.
The participants in this illegal lottery ring risk up to 20 years in prison, a fine of twice the pecuniary loss to any victim, or both. The government is prosecuting this case through Assistant US Attorney Jeffrey Bengel.
America Must Protect Its Vulnerable Demographics from Fraud
According to the US Attorney’s Office in Pittsburgh, some of the seven indicted people were “unwittingly fooled” into supporting the conspiracy. Byfield and Reid, however, were active supporters of the operation.
US Attorney Eric Olshan slammed the defendants for allegedly enriching themselves at the expense of elderly victims. He added that America must protect its vulnerable demographics from such crime.
FBI Pittsburgh Special Agent in Charge Mike Nordwall echoed Olshan’s words, highlighting the importance of protecting vulnerable people from predatory scams. Nordwall also added that cases of such crime, unfortunately, continue to increase each year.
US Postal Inspector in Charge in Pittsburgh Lesley Allison further commented that the US Postal Inspection Service remains committed to investigating fraudulent lottery schemes and protecting innocent victims from harm. According to her, inspectors will spare no efforts to identify and indict those using the US Mail to facilitate criminal schemes.
Finally, Special Agent in Charge of HIS Philadelphia William Walker said that the public must do its part in this fight as well, check in with senior citizens and loved ones and keep them informed.