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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Eastern District of Louisiana

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, May 26, 2016

Jamaican National Indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud

U.S. Attorney Kenneth A. Polite announced that ANDREW O’NEIL BOWYER, age 26, a resident of Jamaica, was charged today in a one-count Indictment for Conspiracy to Commit Mail Fraud.

According to the Indictment, on or before August 2013, BOWYER and others operated a scheme to contact elderly individuals and people with diminished capacity who would be susceptible to being scammed. The scheme involved contacting victims by telephone through Voice Over Internet Protocol (“VoIP”) and informing them they had won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes or similar lottery and needed to pay BOWYER and others monies by cash, check, wire, and other methods in order to claim their lottery winnings.

BOWYER and others obtained names, addresses, and other biographical information from an unknown source. They used the information to identify victims, telephone them, or direct others to telephone them, to represent that they had won the sweepstakes and inform them they would need to send him or others money in order to claim their winnings.

It was part of the scheme and artifice to defraud that on or around March 30, 2015, the defendant, BOWYER, employed false representations and promises in order to convince V.L., an elderly person, into believing V.L. had won a sweepstakes, causing V.L. to send money via the United States Postal Service to CC-1, a co-conspirator living at an apartment in New Orleans. V.L. sent the money to CC-1 in reliance on BOWYER’s false representations and promises that if V.L. sent the money to CC-1, she would be awarded sweepstakes winnings. Immediately after receiving the funds in the mail from V.L., CC-1 deposited the money into his bank account in New Orleans, and initiated a wire transfer of the funds from the account to BOWYER’s account in Jamaica.

If convicted, BOWYER faces a maximum of 20 years imprisonment, to be followed by three (3) years of supervised release, a fine of up to $250,000, and a special assessment of $100.

U. S. Attorney Polite reiterated that the Indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Attorney Polite praised the work of the United States Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, in investigating this matter.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sharan E. Lieberman is in charge of the prosecution.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated May 26, 2016