Lottery scammers steal $1.2 million from one victim
Crook receives six years in prison for crimes of conspiracy and fraud
By Kate Northrop
After stealing over $1 million from one single victim, the leader of a ring of Jamaican scam artists was sentenced Friday to almost six years in prison.
Like any typical scammer, Stieve Fernandez, 35, spent his time deceiving vulnerable individuals and robbing elderly targets of their life savings as part of a high-functioning underground network of lottery fraudsters.
Fernandez was said to h ...
Jul 12, 2021, 12:45 pm - Lottery News forum
'Darth Vader' collects $95 million Jamaican Lotto jackpot
The force was with this lucky winner
By Kate Northrop
Some people might use masks, others might wear dark sunglasses. While these sound like easy and viable go-to options for concealing one's identity, there's one winner who knows how to step up their anonymity game.
In a bid to hide his identity while collecting a $95 million (US$651,226) lottery jackpot for the July 5 Lotto draw, a Jamaican man suited up as Star Wars' Darth Vader, one of Sci-Fi's most iconic villains.
Only known as ...
Jul 22, 2020, 11:09 am - Lottery News forum
90-year-old ND woman lost $400K to Jamaican lottery scam — but she was paid back just $287
Life savings gone for good
A 90-year-old North Dakota woman who was robbed of her life savings by a Jamaican lottery scam says she has been paid back only $287 of the $400,000 she's owed.
Edna Schmeets of Harvey, a small central North Dakota town about 77 miles northeast of Bismarck, was the victim whose case launched what became the first large-scale Jamaican lottery scam case prosecuted in the U.S. All 31 defendants have been prosecuted, including 14 Jamaican nationals who were extradite ...
Nov 11, 2019, 12:29 pm - Lottery News forum
Key player in Jamaican lottery scam sentenced to 4 years
A federal judge in North Dakota on Wednesday sentenced a Rhode Island woman to four years in prison for funneling lottery scam money between the U.S. and Jamaica, prompting a prosecutor to question the ruling.
Melinda Bulgin, 29, of Providence, received a sentence that was 10 years less than prosecutors had sought.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland said Bulgin's role in the scam was not on the level of others who received lesser sentences than the 14 years requested by prosecutors, The Bi ...
Jul 12, 2019, 8:46 pm - Lottery News forum
Jamaican lottery winner wears 'Scream' mask to hide identity
A lottery winner in Jamaica who seemingly wanted to remain anonymous chose quite the mask to conceal his face.
Dressed in a mask of Ghostface a character in the Scream movies with a signature white face and long, wide-opened mouth the winner, only identified as A. Campbell, collected his winnings of roughly $158,400,000 in Jamaican dollars, which equates to over $1,171,400 in U.S. currency.
Campbell, according to the Jamaica Star, became sick when he found out he won the Super Lotto in Nov ...
Feb 12, 2019, 1:06 pm - Lottery News forum
US woman convicted in Jamaican lottery scam to remain jailed
A federal judge in North Dakota on Monday ordered a Rhode Island woman convicted of funnelling lottery scam money between the US and Jamaica to remain jailed pending a February sentencing hearing, where she could face a stiffer sentence than the alleged mastermind.
Her hands were all over the conspiracy that authorities said bilked at least 90 mostly elderly Americans out of more than $5.7 million, US District Judge Daniel Hovland said at the end of a contentious detention hearing in which M ...
Dec 5, 2018, 2:28 pm - Lottery News forum
'It was a horrible, horrible crime that I committed,' Jamaican lottery scammer repents
Charles Bennett had already lost his home and moved into a trailer to pay the scammers who had taken over his life. Soon he was hiding there in the dark, told in a late-night phone call that he was about to be arrested over unpaid bills.
The 85-year-old Massachusetts man would be stopped from selling the trailer by a social services investigation, but he lost all control over his finances. Even then, he starved himself so he could hand over his food allowance to the scammers. He remained conv ...
Oct 5, 2018, 9:25 am - Lottery News forum
Last defendant in large Jamaican lottery scam convicted
A federal jury in North Dakota on Friday convicted a Rhode Island woman of helping scam elderly Americans out of millions of dollars, capping a large-scale Jamaican lottery scam case that authorities have been investigating and prosecuting for six years.
Jurors found Melinda Bulgin, 28, guilty of 15 counts of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering, after 3 1/2 hours of deliberations over two days. Defense attorney Kevin Chapman said he likely will appeal.
The Providence woman was the last ...
Sep 15, 2018, 8:36 pm - Lottery News forum
Last defendant in Jamaican lottery scam case going to trial
A Rhode Island woman accused of funneling lottery scam money between the U.S. and Jamaica through her airline job goes on trial in federal court in North Dakota this week. She is the last of 27 defendants in the case that began seven years ago this month. Here's a look at the case and the upcoming trial of Melinda Bulgin, which is expected to last up to 10 days.
Why is this case a big deal?
The Federal Trade Commission estimates that lottery scams could be a billion-dollar-a-year industry ...
Sep 10, 2018, 10:36 pm - Lottery News forum
Better Business Bureau releases study on sweepstakes, lottery and prize scams
A new report by the Better Business Bureau says sweepstakes, lottery and prize scams are using ever-changing methods to hurt victims financially and emotionally.
The frauds concentrate on seniors, targeting them by direct mail, cold calling, social media, text messages and smartphone pop-ups.
BBB warns consumers to be on guard against the serious frauds and their perpetrators.
The report Sweepstakes, Lottery and Prize Scams: A Better Business Bureau Study of How 'Winners' Lose Millions ...
Jun 18, 2018, 8:02 am - Lottery News forum