South Florida Man Sentenced in Connection with Lottery Fraud Scheme Based in Jamaica
A South Florida man was sentenced to prison in connection with the operation of a Jamaican-based fraudulent lottery scheme, the Department of Justice announced today.
Claude Shaw, 49, of Miramar, Florida, was sentenced to serve 36 months in prison and three years supervised release by U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas in Fort Lauderdale. Shaw was also ordered to pay $128,440 in restitution.
Shaw pleaded guilty on March 22, to one count of mail fraud in the Southern District of Florida. As part of his guilty plea, Shaw acknowledged that, from in or around September 2013, through in or around August 20l5, he participated in a scheme to defraud victims in the United States and unlawfully enrich himself.
“Today’s sentencing demonstrates the Justice Department’s commitment to combatting foreign-based lottery fraud schemes targeting individuals in the United States,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Chad A. Readler of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Financial schemes designed to defraud unsuspecting victims will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”
As part of the scheme, victims throughout the United States received telephone calls in which they were falsely informed that they had won over $1 million in a lottery and needed to pay money in advance to claim their winnings. The victims were instructed on how, and to whom, to send their money, including being instructed to send their money to Shaw. Victims sent over $100,000 to Shaw, who then forwarded a portion of the money to Jamaica. Victims never received any lottery winnings.
“The Postal Inspection Service will continue to actively investigate fraudulent lottery schemes based in Jamaica directed at ripping off victims in the United States,” said Inspector in Charge Antonio J. Gomez of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service’s Miami, Florida Division. “Lottery scams tied to Jamaica are targeting victims in the United States, and we will not allow fraudsters to use the U.S. mail to commit their crime.”
This prosecution is part of the Department of Justice’s effort working with federal and local law enforcement to combat fraudulent lottery schemes preying on American citizens.
Acting Assistant Attorney General Readler commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Arturo DeCastro of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch.
For more information about the Consumer Protection Branch and its enforcement efforts, visit its website at http://www.justice.gov/civil/consumer-protection-branch. For more information about the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida, visit its website at https://www.justice.gov/usao-sdfl.