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Press Release

Nigel John-Ross Henry Sentenced To 75 Months In Prison For Conspiracy To Commit Wire And Mail Fraud And Identity Theft In An Elder Sweepstakes Scam

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

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. – On January 10, 2024, Nigel John-Ross Henry, 38, a Jamaica citizen, was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas A. Varlan, in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee at Knoxville. 

As part of the plea agreement filed with the court, Henry agreed to plead guilty to an indictment charging him with, one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. §§ 1349, 1341, and 1343; and one count of aggravated identity theft in violation of 18 U.S.C. §1028A.  Henry was sentenced to 75 months in prison, followed by five years’ supervised release.  Henry has been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $331,569.39, jointly, and severally with co-conspirators, Diedre Rochelle Weir and Diedria Roseanne Faulkner, who were both sentenced to 21 months imprisonment in December 2023.

According to filed court documents, the conspiracy was a sweepstakes scam that targeted the elderly.  Elderly victims from across the United States were targeted by telephone being told they had won a large sum of money even though they had never entered the lottery.  In order to claim the prize money, victims were told they had to pay taxes on the winnings first.  If the victim fell for the scam, a co-conspirator continued to call the victim for more “tax” money.  The number of calls to the victim became more frequent.  If needed, the co-conspirator pretended to become the victim’s paramour, making the continued requests for additional “tax” money more palatable. The scam did not stop until the victim had no more money, or the victim figured out s/he was being deceived. Sometimes the conspiracy was able to fraudulently obtain Personal Identity Information (PII) from the victim.  Armed with the PII, the conspiracy took over the victim’s identity and bilked the victim’s financial accounts directly.  There were instances when a victim had been bilked of their life savings and that the victim was brought into the conspiracy as a “mule” to receive “tax” money from other victims.  The “mule” would be told where and how to send the money minus a nominal fee for his/her trouble.  Ultimately, the stolen money was sent to Henry, who took his cut and wired the rest to unknown conspirators in Jamaica.

U.S. Attorney Francis M. Hamilton, III of the Eastern District of Tennessee, and Resident Agent in Charge, Jason Brown, of the United States Secret Service, made the announcement. 

The criminal indictment was the result of an investigation by the United States Secret Service.  This investigation was led by USSS Senior Special Agent Lesley Cochran.

Assistant United States Attorney Jennifer Kolman represented the United States.




Rachelle Barnes
Public Affairs Officer
(865) 225-1671

Updated January 10, 2024

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud