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Jamaican man pleads guilty in Pennsylvania court to sweepstakes scheme that targeted elderly Americans

The Justice Department announced Wednesday that a Jamaican man pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud charges in a court in Scranton, Pennsylvania, in connection with a bogus sweepstakes scheme targeting seniors in the United States.

Damon Oakley, 41, has been charged with two mail fraud and two wire fraud counts after he admitted to trying to make a fortune through fraudulent sweepstakes schemes targeting seniors and vulnerable Americans. pleaded guilty. He was extradited to the United States for prosecution from Point District, St. James Parish, Jamaica.

The plan included telling people that sweepstakes won millions of dollars and luxury cars, but that they would have to pay taxes and fees to receive the prize.

Oakley used the postal service, text messages, or phone calls to contact victims under different names, such as “Cos. Alex Logan” and “Cos. Stan Valentine.”

Jamaicans plead guilty to defrauding millions of seniors with fake sweepstakes

Oakley contacted victims of the bogus sweepstakes scheme through phone calls, text messages, and the U.S. Postal Service. (St. Petersburg)

Fraudulent payments requested by Oakley will be sent directly to Oakley through wire transfers, direct bank deposits, postal services or private commercial postal carriers. In some cases, Mr. Oakley had other people in the United States or elsewhere send the money, who then sent it to him.

In addition to cash and wire transfers, some victims were instructed to purchase electronics, jewelry and clothing, which were sent to Oakley, Jamaica through Florida’s postal forwarding service.

The Justice Department said Oakley defrauded “the most vulnerable people in society.” Hundreds of thousands of dollars.

“Today’s guilty plea underscores our firm’s commitment to protecting elderly victims and punishing individuals for these types of acts,” U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Pennsylvania Gerald M. Callum said in a statement Wednesday. It reflects,” he said.

Robert J. Nealon Federal Building and Federal Courthouse

Oakley pleaded guilty to two counts of mail fraud and two counts of wire fraud before the Robert J. Nealon Federal Building in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and in US court. (Carol M. Highsmith/Byenraj/Getty Images)

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Lieutenant Eric Shen, head of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s (USPIS) Criminal Investigation Group, echoed Callum’s sentiments, saying Wednesday’s plea deal “will investigate domestic and foreign fraudsters who use the U.S. Postal Service for personal gain.” He added that it exemplifies the group’s efforts to It targets and economically exploits vulnerable American consumers, including the elderly. ”

USPS mail truck

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated Mr. Oakley after learning he used the postal service to defraud elderly and vulnerable Americans out of hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Justice Department. (Stephanie Reynolds/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

The case was investigated by USPIS with the assistance of the Department of Justice’s Office of International Affairs and U.S. Marshals. Jamaican law enforcement partners helped secure Oakley’s arrest and extradition.

“Mr Oakley is the first person to be extradited by the United States under Jamaica’s revised Fugitive Offenses Act and we are confident he will continue efforts to stamp out fraud targeting vulnerable consumers wherever scammers are located. We do,” said the deputy chief of staff. Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, Director of the Department of Justice’s Civil Affairs Division.

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The Justice Department said it has a help hotline available to people over the age of 60 who have been victims of financial fraud. You can contact us at 1-833-372-8311, 7 days a week from 6:00 am to 11:00 pm Eastern Standard Time.

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