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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Wednesday, March 27, 2013

rochester schools employee charged in jamaican lottery scam

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-- U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Rickey Miller, Sr., 54, of Rochester, N.Y., was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with mail fraud. The charge carries a maximum prison sentence of  20 years.

            Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard A. Resnick, who is handling the case, stated that from 2011 to March 14, 2013, Miller, who works as a custodian for the Rochester City School District, participated in what is known as a Jamaican lottery scam. According to the complaint, elderly victims were contacted by Jamaican citizens and told that they had won a lottery and other prizes. The victims were then told that in order to receive their prizes, they must first send money to pay for delivery fees and taxes. The elderly victims were instructed to send the money to the defendant in Rochester. Miller would receive the money, keep a portion, and then wire the remaining funds to the individuals in Jamaica with whom he was conspiring.

            For example, an 85 year-old woman from Glenolden, Pennsylvania was told that she had won $800,000 and a new Mercedes Benz. The victim was instructed to send a $2,500 check, as a delivery fee, to Miller before receiving her prizes. The woman sent the check to the defendant by USPS Express Mail. The woman was instructed on several other occasions to send additional money to Miller which she did. After sending several thousands of dollars, the victim did not receive the prizes as promised. 

            According to the complaint, victims lost more than $300,000 as a result of the defendant's fraudulent conduct. Jamaican lottery scams over the years have resulted in elderly United States citizens losing hundreds of millions of dollars.

            The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the United States Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, under the direction of  Inspector in Charge Kevin Niland, and the City of Rochester's Office of Public Integrity, under the direction of Director George Markert.  

The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.