Thu | Dec 14, 2017

Hanover couple arrested on lottery scamming charges

Published:Friday | November 24, 2017 | 1:31 PM

Livern Barrett, Senior Gleaner Writer

A Hanover couple alleged to be the mastermind behind a lottery scam scheme that was used to fleece an elderly American woman out of US$148,000 or (J$19 million) is facing a number of criminal charges.

Frank Morris and his female companion, Maxcine Leslie have been charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretence. 

They were arrested at their home in Chester Castle district last Friday during a joint operation between the Financial Investigation Division (FID), the Major Organised Crime and Anti-Corruption Agency (MOCA) and the police.

Law enforcement officials revealed that the operation marked the culmination of a joint investigation involving the FID, MOCA and the United States Postal Inspection Services.

According to one official, the 83-year-old American woman, who is retired, reported that she remitted a total of US$148,000 to persons in Jamaica who told her that she had won US$2.5 million and a new motor vehicle.

The probe reportedly led investigators to the home of Morris and Leslie. 

“A male and a female residing in Chester Castle, Hanover were identified as the masterminds,” the FID said, in a statement.

The FID said during a search of the home occupied by Morris and Leslie, several cellular phones, tablets as well as documents were seized.

The two appeared in the St James Parish Court on Wednesday and were offered bail in the sum of $1 million each. 

Their travel documents were also confiscated.

They are to return to court on March 20 next year.