Tue | Dec 12, 2017

Lavrick Willocks pleads guilty in US court to lottery scamming charge

Published:Thursday | July 27, 2017 | 6:15 PM
Willocks ... faces a maximum prison sentence of 40 years, although prosecutors in court documents say they will recommend a shorter term in return for his admission of guilt.

Lavrick Willocks, the Jamaican man who led a lottery scam ring that fleeced scores of elderly American citizens out of nearly US$6 million today pleaded guilty before a judge in the United States.

Assistant United States Attorney for North Dakota, Clare Hochhalter, said Willocks pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit international wire fraud and mail fraud in connection with a telemarketing scheme.

His plea comes nearly two weeks after authorities in North Dakota announced that they had reached an agreement with Willocks to admit his role in a lottery scam that bilked at least 80 elderly Americans out of US$5.7 million.

According to Hochhalter, US District Court Judge Daniel Hovland reviewed the terms of the agreement before accepting it.

Hovland did not set a date for sentencing.

Willocks faces a maximum prison sentence of 40 years, although prosecutors in court documents say they will recommend a shorter term in return for his admission of guilt.

The government will also recommend that Willocks pay restitution.

Eight other Jamaicans, alleged to be members of Willocks’ syndicate, are awaiting trial in North Dakota on one count each of conspiracy and attempting to commit wire fraud, 48 counts of wire fraud, 15 counts of mail fraud, and one count of money laundering.