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Justice News

Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, October 15, 2018

Defendant Pleads Guilty in Multimillion Dollar Prize-Promotion Scam Affecting Elderly Victims

An individual who defied court orders by operating a multimillion mass-mailing fraud scheme pleaded guilty on Friday, October 12, 2018, in federal court on Long Island before a magistrate judge, the Department of Justice announced.

Tully Lovisa, 55, of Huntington Station, New York, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud for sending prize-promotion mailings that led recipients, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable, to believe that they could claim a large cash prize in exchange for a modest fee.  This was false; victims who submitted fees, which in total exceeded $30 million, did not receive large sums of money.  Lovisa operated the prize-promotion mailing scheme in violation of court orders that resulted from a lawsuit against him by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).

Lovisa also pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a related scheme to defraud the FTC.  Specifically, as part of his resolution of the FTC lawsuit’s against him, Lovisa was ordered by a court to sell a home he owned in Las Vegas, Nevada, and to turn over the proceeds of the sale to the FTC.  Lovisa, however, failed to comply with this order by arranged a sham sale of the house in September 2012 for $155,500 (which he reported to the FTC), and then actually selling the house in April 2015 for $540,000 (which he did not report to the FTC).

“As the Attorney General has made clear, the Department of Justice is determined to bring to justice those who exploit elderly consumers in violation of federal law,” said Assistant Attorney General Joseph Hunt of the Department of Justice’s Civil Division.  “We will work with our law enforcement partners at the U.S. Postal Inspection Service to stop and punish schemes harming the elderly wherever we find them.”

When sentenced, Lovisa faces up to 20 years in prison on each charge, forfeiture, and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss from each offense.

Friday’s plea took place before Magistrate Judge Gary R. Brown, who recommended that it be accepted by the district judge. The United States Postal Inspection Service investigated the case. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorneys Daniel Zytnick and Timothy Finley of the Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch and Assistant U.S. Attorney Charles P. Kelly of the Eastern District of New York.

For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch, visit its website at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch.  For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny.

Topic(s): 
Consumer Protection
Elder Justice
Press Release Number: 
18-1336
Updated October 15, 2018