Skip to main content
Press Release

Nash County Man Barred From Sweepstakes Scheme Targeting Senior Citizens

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of North Carolina

NEW BERN, N.C. – The United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina permanently enjoined Alpheus Brewer of Nashville, North Carolina, from further participation in a fraud scheme that victimized elderly Americans. The Government alleges that participants in the fraud scheme falsely claimed that individuals had won a sweepstakes or lottery, and then induced the victims to transmit money to Brewer to account for taxes and/or fees purportedly associated with, or to otherwise obtain the release of, the victims’ falsely promised winnings.

“Mr. Brewer is alleged to have taken advantage of some of the most vulnerable members of our community through his participation in a scheme that robbed them of their savings,” said U.S. Attorney Michael Easley. “This action reflects our continued commitment to using every tool in our arsenal to combat elder fraud and abuse, and to ensuring justice for our community.”

“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is dedicated to investigating individuals who abuse consumer trust and target the elderly and vulnerable individuals because of greed,” said U.S. Postal Inspector in Charge Tommy D. Coke of the Atlanta Division. “Postal Inspectors, along with our federal partners, are committed to holding responsible those individuals who utilize the U.S. Mail in furtherance of illicit schemes at the expense of the public.”

The United States alleged that from approximately mid-2021 to at least early 2023, Brewer assisted and facilitated this predatory mail-fraud, wire-fraud, and money-laundering scheme that was, in a nutshell, a sweepstakes or lottery scam.  Brewer received the victims’ funds through the United States Postal Service or commercial mail carriers, deposited the fraudulently obtained funds into various bank accounts that Brewer owned in the United States, and then permitted individuals in Jamaica to withdraw the funds through automated teller machines.

As alleged by the Government, on at least two separate occasions, the United States Postal Inspection Service warned Brewer that he appeared to be involved in a fraudulent scheme and informed him that he should not participate further.  Brewer continued participating.  When approached by law enforcement, Brewer admitted his participation in the scheme, explaining that he, too, was a victim of a lottery fraud scheme and was trying to recover his own losses.  All told, the United States alleged that victims of this scheme lost approximately $143,000.

The United States filed a complaint against Brewer pursuant to 18 U.S.C. § 1345, which allows the Government to enjoin certain fraudulent behavior.  Brewer cooperated with the Government’s investigation and consented to the injunction, which the Court entered on June 1, 2023.

The resolution obtained in this matter was the result of a coordinated effort between the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of North Carolina and the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant U.S.  Attorneys Michael Anderson and Andrew Kasper represented the United States.

Other than the findings in the Court’s order, the United States’ factual assertions are allegations only.  The Court has, however, determined that Brewer is liable in this civil action, and has entered the injunction against him.

Related court documents and information from the civil lawsuit are on PACER by searching for Case No. 5:23-CV-260-FL.

Updated June 8, 2023

Elder Justice