Thu | Jul 19, 2018

Scammer lawyers ... Extradition warrants to be sought for attorneys in lottery scheme

Published:Thursday | April 27, 2017 | 5:05 PM
Polacheck ... the implicated attorneys were not being retained by lottery scammers in cases where the clients were seeking a lawyer to defend them on a criminal matter

Damion Mitchell, Integration Editor

The United States Embassy in Kingston has revealed that extradition warrants are now being prepared for two to three Jamaican lawyers who have been facilitating the lottery scamming scheme that has been bilking vulnerable Americans of millions of dollars a year.

"There are lawyers who facilitate this as well, who make it possible for someone to appear as though they have legitimate wealth," Joshua Polacheck, the public affairs officer at the United States Embassy told RJR’s Emily Shields on the talk-show, Hotline, this afternoon.

Polacheck could not immediately provide details on the seniority of the lawyers.

However, he said it is hoped that the warrants for their extradition will be prepared in the coming months to years.

He also said the implicated attorneys were not being retained by lottery scammers in cases where the clients were seeking a lawyer to defend them on a criminal matter.


IN PHOTO: Polacheck .... This would not be the sort of scourge

"I’m talking about attorneys who take the money from someone and that person says ‘I want this money to appear legitimate’,” Polacheck said.

Responding to questions of potential challenges with wiretap evidence and attorney-client privilege, Polacheck asserted that the evidence was largely paper-based.

"The attorney still has to file paper work, still have to move the money around, right? You leave another paper trail that does violate attorney-client privilege," he said.

Last week Norman Manley Law School student Teresa Wilson was sentenced to 16 months in a federal prison in the United States after she pleaded guilty on mail fraud charges.

Wilson was held in June 2016 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

LISTEN: US Embassy says lawyers involved in lottery scamming too

Meanwhile, Polacheck says people across a wide cross section of society are participating in lottery scamming.

"This would not be the sort of scourge and fuelling the violence here in Jamaica if there weren't the support for it and if people weren't taking the money that they know is dirty money," Polacheck said.

His comments came a day after eight Jamaicans were extradited to the United States to face lottery scamming charges.

The eight appeared in court today in Bismark, North Dakota on a 66-count indictment.

They are: Jason Jahalal, Dario Palmer, Alrick McLeod, O'Neil Brown, Kimberly Hudson, Xanu-Ann Morgan, Dahlia Hunter, and her son Kazrae Grey.