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Federal judge sentences man in Jamaican lottery scam

Published:Thursday | November 26, 2015 | 12:00 AM


A federal judge in North Dakota sentenced a Jamaican man to 20 years in prison on Tuesday for a lottery scam that authorities say cost victims around the country millions of dollars.

A jury in May convicted 26-year-old Sanjay Williams, of Montego Bay, Jamaica, of 35 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering. US District Court Judge Daniel Hovland sentenced Williams during a 21/2-hour court appearance, during which Williams was defiant and often argumentative with the Bismarck-based judge.

Williams said the allegations against him were "fictitious" and the "jury failed to use their common sense" when convicting him.

Investigators describe Williams and Lavrick Willocks as leaders of two separate scamming operations based in Jamaica.

Frank Gasper, a Bismarck-based FBI agent, said more than 80 of the victims of Willocks and Williams have been identified and their losses are more than $5.6 million. Willocks has been charged but not extradited to the United States.