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United States v. Michael A. Mangarella (Pileggi et al.)


United States v. Michael A. Mangarella (Pileggi et al.)
Court Docket Number: 3:06-CR-00151 (W.D. North Carolina)

Court Assigned: The cases of all of the defendants identified below are before the Honorable Judge Frank D. Whitney, U.S. District Court for the Western District of North Carolina, Courtroom 1, United States Courthouse, 401 W. Trade Street, Charlotte, NC 28202.

Latest Update: On March 31, 2020 Mangarella filed a motion for compassionate release based on his age, health condition, and the COVID-19 pandemic, which was denied on April 9, 2020.  On July 13, 2020, Mangarella filed an emergency motion to reconsider his request for compassionate release, which is now being considered by the court.

Mangarella is currently serving a 30 year prison term with an estimated release date of January 3, 2032. If you are a victim in this case and wish to be heard on the matter of his request for compassionate release email us at

Criminal Charges: Mangarella’s sentence is a result of his involvement in a conspiracy to defraud U.S. residents, most over the age of 55, out of millions of dollars by deceiving them into believing that each had won a large monetary prize in a "sweepstakes contest." According to court documents, calls to victims were made from Costa Rica using Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), which utilized computers to make telephone calls through the Internet, thereby disguising the originating location of the calls.  Victims were informed that the callers were from the "Sweepstakes Security Commission" and that to receive their "prize," they had to wire thousands of dollars to Costa Rica for a purported "refundable insurance fee." As long as the victims continued to pay, the co-conspirators continued to solicit more money from them.

The defendants are:

1) Giuseppe Pileggi
2) Michael Forchemer
3) Herman Kankrini
4) Victor Kustra
5) Ray Anthony Bigham Wanchope
6) Michael Hennessey
7) Martin Kalchstein
8) Trent Bradford Nyffeler
9) Brian Wall Coyle
10) Larry Edward Cunningham
11) Jason David Reid
12) Michael Attilio Mangarella
13) Andreas Roman Leimer

If you would like to view information regarding the other 12 defendants, please click here.

The information on this website will be updated as new developments arise in the case. If you have any questions, please call the Victim Assistance Line toll-free at (888) 549-3945 or email us at

Presumption of Innocence: It is important to keep in mind that defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty and that presumption requires both the court and our office to take certain steps to ensure that justice is served.

Crime Victims’ Rights Act and Right to Retain Counsel: The Crime Victims’ Rights Act (18 U.S.C. § 3771) applies only to victims of the counts charged in federal court, and thus individuals may not be able to exercise all of these rights if the crime of which the individual is a victim was not charged. Section 377I(c)(2) of this Act requires that we advise you that you have the right to retain counsel. Although the statute specifically sets forth your right to seek advice of an attorney with regard to your rights under the statute, there is no requirement that you retain counsel. The Government may not recommend any specific counsel, nor can the Government (or the Court) pay for counsel to represent you. Government attorneys represent the United States.

If you elect to obtain counsel to represent your interests, please have your attorney notify this office in writing at: U.S. Department of Justice, Criminal Division, Fraud Section, 10th & Constitution Avenue, NW, Bond Building, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20530, Attention: Victim Witness Unit; fax: (202) 514-3708; or email: If you elect not to retain counsel to represent your interests, you do not need to do anything.

Updated September 27, 2023