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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 29, 2018

Georgia Man Charged in Lottery Scam

BOSTON – A Georgia man was indicted in federal district court in Boston yesterday in connection with his role in a bogus advance fee lottery scheme.    

Peter Anthony Chin Jr., 34, of Atlanta, Ga., was indicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. On Feb. 22, 2018, Chin was arrested in Atlanta on a criminal complaint and appeared later that month in federal court Boston. He has been released on conditions since that time.

According to the indictment, from 2012 to 2017, Chin was part of a scheme that targeted elderly individuals throughout the United States, including Massachusetts. The victims were informed via phone, email and mail that they had won millions of dollars in a lottery, but that they had to pay the taxes on their purported winnings before the funds could be released. Chin’s co-conspirators directed the victims to mail or wire funds to Chin or to his associates. Chin kept a portion of the funds for himself and then distributed the rest as directed by his co-conspirators, including sending significant amounts to Jamaica.

As alleged in court documents, the following are two examples of the way in which the scheme operated. On Oct. 7, 2015, a Pennsylvania resident mailed a $34,900 cashier’s check for purported lottery taxes and fees to Chin at his then-address in Fairburn, Ga. Two days later, the cashier’s check was deposited into Chin’s checking account. In another example of the scheme, on March 1, 2013, a Masachusetts resident mailed a treasurer’s check for $93,633 to a co-conspirator in New York for purported lottery taxes and fees. Later that month, the co-conspirator wired $25,000 to a bank account held by Chin’s wife.

The charge of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greater. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Michael Shea, Acting Special Agent in Charge of Homeland Security Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra S. Bower of Lelling’s Criminal Division is prosecuting the case.

Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Component(s): 
Updated March 29, 2018