Jamaican lottery scammer imprisoned for attempting to extort former FBI, CIA head
A Jamaican lottery scammer is now serving a nearly six-year prison term in the United State after he attempted to extort a former head of the FBI and CIA and his wife.
Court records show that William Webster, 94, and his wife, Lynda, were targeted four years ago by Keniel Aeon Thomas who peddled a lottery scam over phone calls and emails.
Thomas told the Websters he'd set their house ablaze or have a sniper shoot them in the back of the head if they didn't pay him thousands of dollars, according to prosecutors' filings.
The Websters say they used their knowledge of the FBI to help send him to prison, which a federal judge did last Friday.
Thomas, who has been in jail since his arrest in late 2017, pleaded guilty to an extortion charge.
He admitted to threatening the Websters.
Thomas, 29, received a sentence of almost six years in prison and then will be deported to Jamaica.
Before learning his sentence, Thomas turned away from the judge to face the Websters, who were sitting in the courtroom.
“I really didn’t mean to hurt you guys,” he said, before speaking about his home country.
“We love you guys. We love tourists.”
At his sentencing Friday, Chief Judge Beryl Howell of the district court in Washington noted that Thomas had more than 30 victims and had collected hundreds of thousands of dollars from them.
One of the victims, an 82-year-old Californian, responded to Thomas, who had called himself “Obama” on the phone, by sending him more than $600,000 in one year, prosecutors said.
Another man in California paid Thomas $87,000.