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Justice News

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

Friday, May 10, 2013

Canadian Man Sentenced In Elder Fraud Scam

RALEIGH - United States Attorney Thomas G. Walker announced that in federal court yesterday JAMAAL McKENZIE, 33, of Canada was sentenced for targeting the elderly in a fraud scam in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371 and Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341 to 78 months of imprisonment followed by three years supervised release.  The Court also ordered restitution of $840,705.00 to be paid.

On March 5, 2008, a Federal Grand Jury returned an Indictment.  On January 30, 2013 McKENZIE pled guilty to one  count of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud.

According to the investigation, from December, 2004, to April, 2007, the defendant, operating in and around the Montreal, Canada, area, devised a scheme in which he called elderly United States citizens, falsely telling them they had won a large prize in a sweepstakes or lottery.  The defendant then convinced the victims to send money in order to receive their prize.

The victims were identified from a lead list that co-defendant Clayton Atkinson, the leader, purchased from a Montreal business.  Characteristics that Atkinson desired of the victims, included ready sources of money, availability during the day to answer the phone and vulnerability due to infirmities of age.  Pre-paid cellular phones were obtained under false names to contact the victims.  When a victim answered the phone fictitious names, titles and company names were used.    

The investigation determined that at least 39 victims in various states, including North Carolina, had been defrauded and the defendants had fraudulently obtained at least $840,705.00.

Investigation of this case was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the North Carolina Attorney General’s Office, Elder Fraud Unit; and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.  Assistant United States Attorney J Gaston B. Williams prosecuted the case.

Updated July 14, 2015