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N.Y. man pleads guilty in bogus lottery scheme

Scam AlertScam Alert: N.Y. man pleads guilty in bogus lottery scheme
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A West Hempstead, New York, man pleaded guilty to federal charges in a Boston courtroom Friday in connection with his role in a fake lottery scam targeting senior citizens.

Wilder Vladimir Merelan, 29, admitted he helped scheme to victimize people ranging in age from 69 to 91 between 2012 and 2015, according to the Massachusetts U.S. attorney's office.

The victims were told they had won millions in a lottery but had to pay taxes first to the Internal Revenue Service before they could get their share of the money, prosecutors said.

Sixteen people sent more than $830,000 to Merelan, who the victims were told was a "sub agent" for the IRS, according to prosecutors. Merelan kept part of the money and distributed the rest to his co-conspirators, including people in Jamaica, where authorities said the scam appears to have roots.

Several elderly residents, including one from Massachusetts, told authorities they received a call from a Jamaica-based phone number alerting them to their purported winnings.

Merelan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit tax and mail fraud.

The charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, plus 3 years of supervised release and a fine of at least $250,000.

Merelan is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 10.

Newsday, Lottery Post Staff

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10 comments. Last comment 8 months ago by Bleudog101.
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Bondi Junction
Australia
Member #57242
December 24, 2007
1102 Posts
Offline
Posted: April 11, 2016, 6:17 am - IP Logged

A West Hempstead, New York, man pleaded guilty to federal charges in a Boston courtroom Friday in connection with his role in a fake lottery scam targeting senior citizens.

Wilder Vladimir Merelan, 29, admitted he helped scheme to victimize people ranging in age from 69 to 91 between 2012 and 2015, according to the Massachusetts U.S. attorney's office.

The victims were told they had won millions in a lottery but had to pay taxes first to the Internal Revenue Service before they could get their share of the money, prosecutors said.

Sixteen people sent more than $830,000 to Merelan, who the victims were told was a "sub agent" for the IRS, according to prosecutors. Merelan kept part of the money and distributed the rest to his co-conspirators, including people in Jamaica, where authorities said the scam appears to have roots.

Several elderly residents, including one from Massachusetts, told authorities they received a call from a Jamaica-based phone number alerting them to their purported winnings.

Merelan pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit tax and mail fraud.

The charge carries a maximum of 20 years in prison, plus 3 years of supervised release and a fine of at least $250,000.

Merelan is scheduled to be sentenced on Aug. 10.

This is exactly why I support state lotteries, if we didn't have legal lotteries, we would have many more illegal lotteries.

We all get a lot out of lotteries!

    music*'s avatar - nw bookeep.jpg
    Happy California
    United States
    Member #157856
    August 2, 2014
    1506 Posts
    Offline
    Posted: April 11, 2016, 6:23 am - IP Logged

     You just cannot trust anybody these days.

     I've been rich and I've been poor. Believe me, rich is better. 

     Attributed to Joe E. Lewis and others

      sully16's avatar - sharan
      Ringleader
      Michigan
      United States
      Member #81740
      October 28, 2009
      40262 Posts
      Offline
      Posted: April 11, 2016, 8:42 am - IP Logged

      Never ending supply of human garbage.

      Did you exchange a walk on part in the war ?

      For a lead role in a cage?

       

                                                  From Pink Floyd's " Wish you were here"

        Avatar
        Simpsonville
        United States
        Member #163189
        January 22, 2015
        666 Posts
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        Posted: April 11, 2016, 8:42 am - IP Logged

         You just cannot trust anybody these days.

        Too bad they don't make him pay for his upkeep in prison instead of the taxpayers who get screwed once again.

         

        Personally I'd be happy if he were forced to repay all the monies and placed on probation.

          LiveInGreenBay's avatar - driver
          Green Bay
          United States
          Member #169391
          October 15, 2015
          1238 Posts
          Offline
          Posted: April 11, 2016, 9:35 am - IP Logged

          Hey Vladimir when you see hot sauce...Say hi.  Bash

          Never give up.  Banana

            noise-gate's avatar - images q=tbn:ANd9GcR91HDs4UJhjxO7cmeMQWZ5lB_FOcMLOGicau4V74R45tDgPWrr
            Bay Area - California
            United States
            Member #136477
            December 12, 2012
            4102 Posts
            Offline
            Posted: April 11, 2016, 11:32 am - IP Logged

            Don't drop the soap while you in there Vlad or your name could be changed to " Vlad the Impaled!"

            People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it- George Bernard Shaw.

              Tony Numbers's avatar - Lottery-022.jpg
              Bronx ny
              United States
              Member #158517
              August 25, 2014
              286 Posts
              Offline
              Posted: April 11, 2016, 2:00 pm - IP Logged

              There wouldn't be any scammers it there were no suckers. 330,000 collected. Just imagine how much charities and the IRS are stealing.

                cbr$'s avatar - maren
                Cordova,Al.
                United States
                Member #104482
                January 15, 2011
                4857 Posts
                Offline
                Posted: April 11, 2016, 4:10 pm - IP Logged
                Any person that scams or target the elderly any way, such be when the 
                authorities get them real in my opinion get the maximum sentence allow.
                Just last week, I pick up the phone they had a automatic service caller which only said the IRS is looking for you. It then tell you to call the numbers they 
                give. [ think about this a minute there are a lot of you out there. Machine didn't
                give the last name it wanted.] So, I called the telephone number. When I get
                a person I was polite. I tell the Lady your, automatic machine called my home.
                Exactly how can I help you. She asked for the phone number. I hear what sound
                someone push the keys. The next question could you give me a name. STOP!
                [think again the real IRS is going call out the person last name.] They called 
                you. ] the lady said, we are the IRS. we want to a taxpayer in that household.
                {all the time I'm thinking to my self is this chick for real.} Miss you called my
                house I don't call your. If you real are the IRS. you should been able to tell who you're look for even to left a message for them to contact you. The are four Taxpayers in our home all don't have the same last name, so now which
                one do you want. It this point you could got the wrong number. The woman get tea total upset with me. IT was at this point that I threat to give the 
                telephone number to the real authorities & make a complaint. That when the 
                woman became very up set . She hang up. I called right back, for 2 day the
                line stay busy. On the 3 day , that number was no longer in service. 

                  United States
                  Member #172415
                  January 23, 2016
                  3795 Posts
                  Offline
                  Posted: April 11, 2016, 6:30 pm - IP Logged

                  Lotto officials needs to be sentenced to 20 years of jail for conspiring and rigging and looting people for years

                    Avatar
                    Simpsonville
                    United States
                    Member #163189
                    January 22, 2015
                    666 Posts
                    Offline
                    Posted: April 11, 2016, 6:59 pm - IP Logged
                    Any person that scams or target the elderly any way, such be when the 
                    authorities get them real in my opinion get the maximum sentence allow.
                    Just last week, I pick up the phone they had a automatic service caller which only said the IRS is looking for you. It then tell you to call the numbers they 
                    give. [ think about this a minute there are a lot of you out there. Machine didn't
                    give the last name it wanted.] So, I called the telephone number. When I get
                    a person I was polite. I tell the Lady your, automatic machine called my home.
                    Exactly how can I help you. She asked for the phone number. I hear what sound
                    someone push the keys. The next question could you give me a name. STOP!
                    [think again the real IRS is going call out the person last name.] They called 
                    you. ] the lady said, we are the IRS. we want to a taxpayer in that household.
                    {all the time I'm thinking to my self is this chick for real.} Miss you called my
                    house I don't call your. If you real are the IRS. you should been able to tell who you're look for even to left a message for them to contact you. The are four Taxpayers in our home all don't have the same last name, so now which
                    one do you want. It this point you could got the wrong number. The woman get tea total upset with me. IT was at this point that I threat to give the 
                    telephone number to the real authorities & make a complaint. That when the 
                    woman became very up set . She hang up. I called right back, for 2 day the
                    line stay busy. On the 3 day , that number was no longer in service. 

                    I too had a message stating, from the same woman, on the answering machine stating this is the last time the IRS will call you.  To call back in such and such a #.  This time I played along as long as I could.  He gave me a fake name and badge # which I wrote down and I gave him a fake name as well.  Said I owe $2421.35 for 2001 taxes and how could I pay it.  He suggested electronic payment and this fool said someone will come by your home to get the check.  Right, that defeats an electronic check I say to myself.  Said i wasn't home.  I then couldn't take it anymore, asked my taxpayer #.  He started with I. R. M. then I hung up.  Next time I will spell out in phoenetic Englis:h Sierra Charlie Alpha Mike!!