Wed | Dec 13, 2017

Disquiet over fines imposed by court on men guilty of lottery scamming

Published:Sunday | December 3, 2017 | 11:11 AM

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 sentenced to fines totalling $367,000.

According to information obtained by The Gleaner-Power106 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 Transactions 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 describes 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 of the cases the fines were less than US$200, significantly less than the fines imposed on Jamaicans convicted in the U-S on charges related to the lottery scam.