Pregnant woman wanted on 66 counts of fraud in US denied bail
Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer
One of the women arrested on an extradition request in western Jamaica last week is wanted in the state of North Dakota in the United States on a 66-count indictment for her alleged involvement in the lottery scam.
Prosecutors revealed this morning that Kimberly Hudson, who is eight months pregnant, has been indicted on one count of attempting to and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, 48 counts of wire fraud, 15 counts of mail fraud and one count of money laundering.
Hudson was denied bail when she made her first court appearance before the Corporate Area Criminal Court today.
Hudson is one of the eight persons who were taken into custody during a series of police operations targeting persons suspected of being involved in lottery scamming.
The others are Alrick McLeod, Dahlia Hunter, O'Neil Brown, Xanu Morgan, Korme Gray, Dario Palmer and Jason Jahalal.
Seven of the eight were also remanded until April 13.
Gray did not appear before the court.
Prosecutors told the court that authorities in North Dakota have alleged that Hudson was part of a criminal organisation operated by a Jamaican man identified as Labrick Wilcocks in the US and elsewhere.
According to prosecutors, members of the organisation, including Hudson, allegedly conspired to run a lottery scam that fraudulently induced persons in the US and elsewhere to send millions of dollars to Jamaica to cover fees and taxes for lotteries they never won.
Prosecutors alleged that a total of 80 elderly victims were convinced to send more than $5.6 million in fees to the criminal organisation.
It also alleged that the money was sent to Jamaica through middle men using blank cheques, wire transfers and money couriers.