Due to the lapse in appropriations, Department of Justice websites will not be regularly updated. The Department’s essential law enforcement and national security functions will continue. Please refer to the Department of Justice’s contingency plan for more information.

You are here

Justice News

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

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Six Charged With Running Lottery Scam

PHILADELPHIA – An indictment was filed today charging six people with running a “Jamaican lottery” scam in the United States between January 2012 and March 2015, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge John P. Kelleghan.Maurice Simmonds, were charged with conspiring to commit mail, bank and wire fraud in a scheme that obtained more than $200,000 from mostly elderly victims with diminished mental capacity.Simmonds, the organizer and leader of the conspirators, and some of the other members of the conspiracy were also charged with wire fraud and travel fraud as the result of specifically defrauding an elderly resident of Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania.


According to the indictment, the victims were informed that they had won the “Jamaican lottery” but that in order to claim their winnings they first needed to pay tens of thousands of dollars for certain “fees.” The victims were repeatedly coerced to provide the conspirators with cash, checks, and property but never received any winnings from the purported lottery.


If convicted, each defendant faces a substantial prison term, possible fines, special assessments, and supervised release.


The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Delaware County District Attorney's Criminal Investigation Division Senior Exploitation Unit, and the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anita Eve.

An Indictment is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Financial Fraud
Updated September 4, 2015