New Jersey man sentenced to nearly three years in prison for running lottery scheme

Jun 28, 2024, 7:00 am (5 comments)

Scam Alert

Your reminder to be on the lookout for fake lottery scams

By Kate Northrop

Earlier this month, a New Jersey man was sentenced to 33 months in prison for conducting a mail fraud scheme that fooled victims into believing they won the lottery.

The U.S. Attorney's Office announced that a New Jersey man was handed a 33-month prison sentence for illegally laundering the proceeds of a mail fraud scheme by way of advertising a false lottery to victims.

In August 2023, Pablo Estrada, 27, of Florence, pleaded guilty in Camden federal court to money laundering and admitted that he stole more than $4 million from victims he scammed.

From August 2020 through January 2023, Estrada would send notifications to his victims alerting them that they won large sums of money in a lottery, but that they would be required to pay an advance fee in order to receive the prize.

He deposited the money he received into various bank accounts he specifically maintained for the scheme and then transferred the funds to other personal bank accounts to keep a percentage for himself, U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger explained.

This method garnered him over $4 million in stolen funds.

Charged with one count of money laundering, Estrada faced a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross profits or gross loss, whichever is greatest.

On June 12, 2024, Chief U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb sentenced him to 33 months in prison, plus three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $4.21 million.

Lottery Post Staff

Comments

ErikB14's avatarErikB14

We need more information on how he committed fraud' for us to prevent future scammers like this man.

Bleudog101

I always wonder what happens if the perp doesn't/unable to pay restitution?  Too bad that wasn't required first somehow PRIOR to sentencing.  No repay=longer prison sentence IMHO.

PrisonerSix

I wonder if he was the mastermind of the scheme or a mule taking the fall for a scammer outside of the country.

jukbati

the stupid people what make then believe that they win  if they did not play or if they play the wining number is posted every were

PrisonerSix

Quote: Originally posted by ErikB14 on Jun 28, 2024

We need more information on how he committed fraud' for us to prevent future scammers like this man.

There are videos about lottery scams on YouTube. 

The way these are usually done is someone is contacted and told they won a lottery or other contest but to get the prize taxes and fees need to be paid in advance.

Many pay because they think they are getting a big prize which of course never materializes. Sometimes even after getting paid, the scammer will ask for more money and will get it because the victim thinks they will get a big prize. It often doesn't end until the victim wises up or is out of money. 

Most of these scams originate in Jamaica and the people in the US are money mules who receive the stolen money, take a cut for themselves, and launder the rest back to Jamaica. 

This scam has been around a long time and doesn't go away.

End of comments
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