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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, June 28, 2018

Jamaican National Indicted On Conspiracy, Mail Fraud And Money Laundering Charges

HARRISBURG – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Jennmariey Burchell, age 25, a Jamaican citizen residing in Panama City, Florida, was indicted on June 27, 2018, by a federal grand jury on 16 conspiracy, mail fraud, and money laundering charges.

Burchell was arrested on May 30, 2018, in Panama City on a complaint and warrant, and ordered detained by United States Magistrate Judge Schwab following a June 26, 2018, preliminary hearing in Harrisburg.

According to United States Attorney David J. Freed, the indictment alleges Burchell and identified and unidentified coconspirators perpetrated a scheme to defraud senior citizens, some of whom resided in the Middle District of Pennsylvania, that were falsely told they had won multi-million dollar international sweepstakes prizes.  The indictment alleges the purported winners were directed to send Western Union and MoneyGram money transfers, money orders and checks to persons known as “money mules,” ostensibly to pre-pay taxes and other fictitious expenses, in order to collect the non-existent cash prizes.  The Indictment further alleges that Burchell enlisted the “money mules” to receive and transfer the fraud proceeds to him and other conspirators in Jamaica.

The case was investigated by the Harrisburg Office of the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant United States Attorney Kim Douglas Daniel is prosecuting the case. 

The United States Attorney’s Office and the United States Postal Inspection Service remind all citizens that they should never make an advance payment of any kind on the promise of a sweepstakes prize, loan or grant.

Indictments are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.

A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, and could include a term of supervisory release following imprisonment, and a fine.

Mail Fraud and Money Laundering are each punishable by up to 20 years’ imprisonment. Conspiracy to commit Mail Fraud and Money Laundering carry a five-year statutory maximum. 

Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant's educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.

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Topic(s): 
Financial Fraud
Updated June 28, 2018