Tuesday 2 June, 2020

Seven sentenced for lotto scamming activities in Hanover

Authorities in Jamaica say they have made another break though in their bid to clamp down on players in the multi-million dollar illegal lottery scamming trade.

The Major Organized Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) says during the past week, - total of seven people were sentenced in the Hanover Parish Court after they each pled guilty to breaches of the Law Reform (Fraudulent Transactions)(Special Provisions) Act, 2013.

Police say the persons were arrested and charged during various MOCA anti-lottery scam operations in Western Jamaica. 

They are:
Dennis Barrett - fined $25,000 or 12 months in prison.
Keron Small - sentenced to 12 months in prison or $25,000.
Keifer Ellis - sentenced to 15 months in prison or $30,000.
Alrick Grant - fined $30,000.00 or 15 months in prison.
Rushane Hogg -  fined $25,000 or 12 months in prison.
Shockeme Stewart - fined $25,000 or 12 months in prison.
Rashid Llewellyn - fined $25, 000 or 12 months in prison.

Police from Western Jamaica says the development is an indication of the work that authorities are carrying out to clamp down on the illegal trade that  continues to contribute to major crimes in the country.

News of the sentencing comes just days after authorities reported another development where the mother of a Jamaican man who authorities say masterminded a large-scale lottery scam in the United States, has agreed to plead guilty in the case.

Prosecutors say the scheme operated out of the mansion that Dahlia Hunter shared with her son in Kingston, Jamaica, bilking at least 90 Americans out of more than US$5.7 million.

Hunter and prosecutors finalised an agreement Monday under which she will plead guilty next Wednesday to conspiracy, and the Government will drop dozens of fraud and money laundering counts.

The deal is similar to those reached by numerous other defendants in the case, including Hunter's son, Lavrick Willocks, who authorities say was the scam's kingpin. He is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in July.

Willocks told US District Judge Daniel Hovland, during his plea hearing, that he got involved in lottery scams in October 2009 when he returned to Jamaica after getting a college degree in the US, and that he wanted to help his mother through financial problems.

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.

The scam began to unravel when a woman in North Dakota lost her life savings of more than $300,000 in 2011. A federal investigation resulted in charges against 27 people, including a current block of 15 suspects who are still being prosecuted in North Dakota.





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