Mon | Dec 18, 2017

Law enforcement officials question 'scandalous' fines received by 15 lottery scammers

Published:Saturday | December 2, 2017 | 6:07 PM

There are reports of disquiet among Jamaican law enforcement officials over news that 15 men who pleaded guilty to lottery scam-related charges in the Hanover Circuit Court were fined a total of $367,000.

According to information obtained by The Gleaner/Power 106 News Centre, the men all pleaded guilty to possession of identity information on November 23rd and 24th.

The reports indicate that seven were fined $30,000; five were fined $20,000 while two were fined $25,000.

The other man was fined $7,000 and ordered to pay restitution of US$580.

However, one senior law enforcement official notes that the Law Reform Fraudulent Transaction Special Provisions Act, commonly called the Lottery Scam Act, provides stiffer fines and up to 15 years in prison.

While acknowledging the independence of the judiciary, the official described the fines as scandalous and says they do not take into account the links between the lottery scam and the increase in violent crimes in western Jamaica.

The official also pointed out that in each case the fines were less than US$200, significantly less than the fines imposed on Jamaicans convicted in the United States on charges related to the lottery scam.