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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Middle District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 16, 2017

Jamaican Law School Student Sentenced To Prison For Role In Lottery Scheme

Orlando, Florida – U.S. District Judge Carlos E. Mendoza today sentenced Teresa Wilson (27, Jamaica) to 16 months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud. As part of her sentence, the Court also entered a money judgment in the amount of $270,000, which are proceeds of the offense.

 

Wilson pleaded guilty on October 19, 2016 and is the third defendant to plead guilty during this investigation. Yanique Coach and Dwayne Breary were previously sentenced to 12 months and a day, and 6 months’ imprisonment, respectively.

 

According to court documents, an 89-year-old victim in Virginia received phone calls from two people in October and November 2014, advising that she had won $3.5 million dollars from the Mega Millions Sweepstakes. One of the callers identified himself as being associated with the sweepstakes, and the other purported be an attorney. The callers told the victim that her name had been entered into the lottery through a magazine subscription, but that the victim needed to pay fees and taxes before receiving her winnings. From October 31, 2014 to November 25, 2014, at the direction of the callers, the victim complied and mailed $282,600 in cash to various locations in Florida and Georgia, concealing the money in magazines and cereal boxes.

 

The family of the victim learned about the large withdrawals of money from the victim’s bank account and contacted the FBI. On March 6, 2015, the victim was instructed by the callers to send $150,000 in cash to an apartment in Orlando, Florida. On March 19, 2015, a third co-conspirator signed for and accepted the package upon delivery. Agents then executed a search warrant and recovered the package.

 

During the fraud scheme, Wilson, who was attending law school in Jamaica, had co-conspirators hold packages for her containing hundreds of thousands of dollars, which they had received from the victim in the United States. Wilson would then travel from Jamaica to retrieve the money or make arrangements for another co-conspirator to travel from Jamaica to do the same. Wilson then either transported the money, or clothes purchased with the victim’s money, back to Jamaica and delivered the items to the leaders of the scheme.

 

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney James D. Mandolfo.

Updated March 16, 2017