“Lindo was charged in connection with a fraudulent lottery scheme based in Jamaica that induced victims in the United States to send Lindo hundreds of thousands of dollars to cover purported fees for lottery winnings that victims had not won and never received,” the DOJ said.
Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date.
“The Justice Department is committed to prosecuting those responsible for fraudulent international lottery schemes, which frequently target elderly Americans,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division who added that “we will continue to pursue and prosecute this criminal activity, wherever the fraudsters may be.”
“Today’s prosecution represents another step in our efforts to stem the tide of international scams preying on innocent Americans,” said US Attorney Jill Westmorland Rose for the Western District of North Carolina.
“Fraudsters located outside the United States frequently rely on co-conspirators in the United States to help their scams succeed,” she added. “Such illegal conduct will be investigated and prosecuted.”
The DOJ said Lindo’s prosecution is part of the Department of Justice’s effort working with US federal and local law enforcement to combat fraudulent lottery schemes in Jamaica preying on American citizens.
According to the US Postal Inspection Service, Americans have lost tens of millions of dollars to fraudulent foreign lotteries.
Lindo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud with enhanced penalties for telemarketing.
As part of her guilty plea, the DOJ said Lindo acknowledged that, from in or about 2011 through at least in or about September 2012, she was a member of a conspiracy that targeted victims in the United States.
The DOJ said victims of the scheme received phone calls stating that they had won money in a sweepstakes or lottery.
Victims were then instructed to send thousands of dollars for fees or other expenses in order to release their purported lottery winnings.
In this case,victims sent hundreds of thousands of dollars to Lindo in the United States, who then forwarded a portion of the money to Jamaica.
The DOJ said Lindo acknowledged there was no lottery and no winnings were paid, and that she kept some the victims’ money for her own benefit.
“The Postal Inspection Service seeks to stop the victimization of American citizens, many of whom are older Americans, by those engaged in international lottery schemes,” said David W. Bosch of the US Postal Inspection Service’s Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Division.
“Regardless whether these criminals reside within our borders or beyond, we will continue to work with our law enforcement partners here and abroad to bring these offenders to justice,” he added.
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