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USA | lottery scam suspect ferried money via her airline job?

Featured USA | lottery scam suspect ferried money via her airline job?
UNITED STATES, January 5, 2016 - Prosecutors allege in new court filings that the last suspect fighting charges in what is believed to be the first large-scale Jamaican lottery scam tried in U.S. courts funneled money between the two countries through her airline job.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare Hochhalter revealed that Melinda Bulgin, of Providence, Rhode Island, also had legal training, contradicting her assertion that she was confused about her legal rights when questioned by authorities.

The US Government is opposing Miss Bulgin's effort to have statements and other evidence from alleged illegal interrogations in Jamaica and Rhode Island in 2015 disallowed at trial.

The Jamaican maintains her rights to have an attorney present and to not incriminate herself  were violated.

Mr. Hochhalter argues that Miss Bulgin was not entitled to U.S. Constitution protections in Jamaica and that during interrogations on U.S. soil she was made aware of  her rights and did not unequivocally request an attorney.

Miss Bulgin denied in court documents that she had any form of legal training, even though she studied forensic science at Pace University in New York.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled for January 22 in federal court in North Dakota, where the case began when a state resident lost her life savings of more than US$300,000 in 2011.

Authorities say at least 90 Americans lost a total of more than $5.7 million to the scam.

The suspects are accused of calling victims about bogus lottery winnings, persuading them to pay advance fees to receive the purported winnings, then keeping the money without paying anything to the victims.

Mr. Hochhalter said Miss Bulgin was caught while transporting cash between the U.S. and Jamaica on one of her many virtually free trips to Jamaica as a then-employee of  Delta Airlines.

A federal investigation resulted in conspiracy, fraud and money laundering charges against 27 people.

All have pleaded guilty or been convicted except Miss Bulgin and two suspects who remain fugitives in Jamaica.

Miss Bulgin was to stand trial this month, but the prosecution and defense requested it be delayed due in part to voluminous evidence.

U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland has moved the trial to mid-September.

Last modified onFriday, 05 January 2018 10:09
  • Countries: United_States

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