Eight facing lottery-scam indictment in the US
United States authorities are in possession of separate 66-count indictments charging that the eight persons arrested on extradition warrants during a series of police operations in western Jamaica last week were part of a criminal organisation involved in lottery scamming.
This was disclosed by the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) yesterday, hours after seven of the eight, including former police Constable Jason Jahalal, appeared in the Kingston Parish Court.
The others are Alrick McLeod, Dahlia Hunter, O'Neil Brown, Xanu Morgan, Dario Palmer and Kimberly Carlo-Jean Hudson, who is eight months pregnant. Karae Gray did not appear in court.
According to the DPP's office, the eight have each been indicted on one count of conspiracy and attempting to commit wire fraud; 48 counts of wire fraud; 15 counts of mail fraud, and one count of money laundering in the state of North Dakota in the US.
Outlining the case against Hudson, prosecutors revealed that their counterparts in North Dakota have alleged that she was part of a criminal organisation they believe was led by a Jamaican man identified as Labrick Willocks.
Prosecutors charged that the gang began operations in 2009 from Jamaica, the US and elsewhere and used an advance fee scheme to defraud a total of 80 elderly victims of approximately US$5.6 million.
According to them, the cash was sent to Jamaica by middlemen operating in the US through blank cheques, wire transfers, the mail service and by money couriers.
The four men and three women were denied bail by Senior Parish Judge Judith Pusey and are scheduled to return to court next Wednesday.