Thursday 26 November, 2020

J'can lottery scam ringleader jailed in US for more than 5 years

A Jamaican man described as the ringleader of a lottery scheme that scammed elderly Americans of millions of dollars has been jailed for more than five years in a United States federal prison.

The convict - Kristoff Cain, also known as Patrick Williams - was sentenced to 70 months behind bars on Monday, August 24, Pennsylvania Attorney General Josh Shapiro announced last week.

According to a news release from Shapiro's office, Cain was scamming elderly citizens from across the country, including Pennsylvania, out of millions of dollars. His lottery scheme was referred to as "the Jamacain lottery scam".

Cain’s operations incorporated co-conspirators based out of Allegheny County in Pennsylvania, including Audrey Huff and Donovan Wallace, who both had named Cain as the ringleader of the scams during their arrests.

Among the victims who were scammed by Cain’s Pennsylvania-based co-conspirators was a woman from Brighton, Massachusetts.

"In February 2017, this woman sent US$4,000 to Huff. This was a 'tax payment on a $3.5 million lottery prize' which other suspects advised her that she had won. This package was intercepted by the US Postal Service, which spoke to her daughter — who told them her mother lost over $250,000 over 10 years to this scam," Shapiro's office reported.

Other senior citizens across at least four other US states were scammed by Cain's lottery scheme.

Following a probe launched by US authorities, Cain was apprehended.

On December 16, 2019, the Jamaican pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Cain's conviction will likely result in his deportation at the end of his incarceration, the Pennsylvania attorney general suggested.

This is the second Jamaican national to be convicted in relation to lottery scamming charges in recent weeks.

It was reported two weeks ago that 27-year-old Darryl Cleon Forbes was sentenced by a federal judge in Jacksonville on a charge of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, according to media reports in the US.

In addition to serving five years and six months behind bars, the Jamaican was ordered to "forfeit US$2.4 million and pay US$1.1 million in restitution".

US prosecutors reported that between 2015 and 2017, Forbes and others operated a fraudulent sweepstakes scheme originating in Jamaica, which mainly targeted American elders.

It was also alleged that none of the victims of the scheme received any of the promised prizes. Instead, Forbes and his team of fraudsters kept all the money.

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