Mon | Aug 21, 2017

Florida man jailed in Jamaica-based lottery scheme

Published:Monday | June 5, 2017 | 6:59 PM

A South Florida man was sent to prison in connection with the operation of a Jamaican-based fraudulent lottery scheme, the Department of Justice announced today.

Claude Shaw, 49, of Miramar, Florida was sentenced to 36 months in prison and three years supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas in Fort Lauderdale. 

Shaw was also ordered to pay US$128,440 in restitution.

He pleaded guilty on March 22 to one count of mail fraud in the Southern District of Florida, the Department of Justice said in a release.

As part of his guilty plea, Shaw acknowledged that, from around September 2013 to around August 20l5 he participated in a scheme to defraud victims in the United States and unlawfully enrich himself.

“Today’s sentencing demonstrates the Justice Department’s commitment to combating foreign-based lottery fraud schemes targeting individuals in the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. 

“Financial schemes designed to defraud unsuspecting victims will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” he added.

As part of the scheme, victims throughout the United States received telephone calls in which they were falsely informed that they had won over $1 million in a lottery and needed to pay money in advance to claim their winnings. 

The victims were instructed on how, and to whom to send their money, including being instructed to send their money to Shaw. 

Victims sent over US$100,000 to Shaw, who then forwarded a portion of the money to Jamaica.  Victims never received any lottery winnings.

“The Postal Inspection Service will continue to actively investigate fraudulent lottery schemes based in Jamaica directed at ripping off victims in the United States,” said Inspector in Charge Antonio J. Gomez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Miami, Florida Division.

“Lottery scams tied to Jamaica are targeting victims in the United States, and we will not allow fraudsters to use the U.S. mail to commit their crime,” Gomez added.

- business@gleanerjm.com