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2 more Jamaican lottery scam suspects brought to US

Sep 20, 2017, 9:42 am

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Scam AlertScam Alert: 2 more Jamaican lottery scam suspects brought to USRating:

BISMARCK, N.D. — All of the 13 suspects arrested in what authorities believe is the first large-scale Jamaican lottery scam to be prosecuted in the U.S. have now entered pleas in federal court, with more than one-third of them admitting guilt or scheduled to do so.

Authorities say the scam bilked at least 90 mostly elderly Americans out of more than $5.7 million. Two suspects who had been awaiting extradition in Jamaica were brought to the U.S. earlier this month and entered not guilty pleas in federal court in North Dakota.

Tristan Fisher and Akil Gray waived detention hearings Monday and will stay in custody pending trial.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare Hochhalter has asked U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland to add Fisher and Gray to the list of suspects scheduled for trial early next year. That list is steadily shrinking, however. Five of the 15 defendants in the case have now reached agreements with prosecutors calling for them to plead guilty to one count of conspiracy, with the government dropping 65 other counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

The latest suspect to reach such a deal, O'Neil Brown, signed it Sept. 7. He's to plead guilty Oct. 3 in Bismarck.

Suspects Jason Jahalal and Xanu Morgan, who signed plea deals in late August, have had change-of-plea hearings scheduled for next week. Suspect Alrick McLeod, who signed his deal in late July, is scheduled to plead guilty Oct. 16.

Lavrick Willocks, the man accused of being the kingpin, pleaded guilty in late July. His sentencing hasn't been scheduled. Prosecutors are recommending a sentence of about 10 years in prison.

Six suspects remain scheduled for trial in January, with Hovland not immediately ruling on whether to add Fisher and Gray to the list. The last two suspects remain fugitives.

Prosecutors started to build a case after a North Dakota woman lost her life savings of more than $300,000 in 2011.

Jamaican lottery scams have been happening for years, but prosecutors say no cases of this magnitude have been prosecuted. The suspects are accused of calling victims about bogus lottery winnings, persuading them to send advance fees to receive the purported winnings, then keeping the money without paying out anything to the victims.

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AP, Lottery Post Staff

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4 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by Technut.
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music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
USN United States Navy
Fresno, California
United States
Member #157851
August 2, 2014
3959 Posts
Offline

  I would like to thank the Jamaican Authorities for helping the U.S. get justice. Well done! US Flag

 "We are all in this together!" 

    Avatar
    Franklin-n.c
    United States
    Member #37193
    April 12, 2006
    54 Posts
    Offline

    don't like working for a living  do they 10 years in prison sounds good

      Avatar
      Simpsonville
      United States
      Member #163184
      January 22, 2015
      2289 Posts
      Online

      So the government dropped 65 charges.  Spent a boatload of money to bring them to justice and did I miss anything about restitution?  This what saddens me more than anything, in fact angers me is a better choice of words.

        Technut's avatar - moon
        3rd Rock from Sun
        United States
        Member #159098
        September 13, 2014
        173 Posts
        Offline

        So the government dropped 65 charges.  Spent a boatload of money to bring them to justice and did I miss anything about restitution?  This what saddens me more than anything, in fact angers me is a better choice of words.

        I personally believe they should have to return money to victims of the the crime in which they ripped off in form of restitution.

        Yesterday is History, Tomorrow is a Mystery, Today is a gift that's why it's called the PRESENT! (c8