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Press Release

Crossville, Tennessee Woman Indicted In Jamaican Lottery Scam

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

A federal grand jury in Nashville, Tenn., returned a 15-count indictment yesterday charging Betty J. Ketchum, 34, of Crossville, Tenn.,  in connection with the operation of a fraudulent “Jamaican” lottery scheme, Announced David Rivera, U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Tennessee.  The indictment includes charges of mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering and international promotional money laundering.

The indictment alleges that, from February 2013 through January 2016, Ketchum and other individuals with whom she conspired engaged in a “Jamaican” lottery scheme designed to induce elderly victims throughout the United States to send money to cover fees and taxes for purported lottery or sweepstakes winnings. The indictment charged that Ketchum received money from victims of the scheme, sometimes kept a portion for herself, and then forwarded the remainder to co-conspirators in Jamaica. The indictment further alleges that Ketchum used several aliases to conceal her identity from victims and when wiring money to the Caribbean. The victims, who never received any lottery winnings, mailed or wired money to Ketchum from locations across the United States.

The indictment contains allegations of numerous victims sending various amounts of money to Ketchum and in one instance a resident of Tellico Plains, Tenn. sent her a check for $7500.00.

If convicted, Ketchum faces a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud.  All other charges carry a maximum of 20 years in prison on each count. 

An indictment is merely an accusation.  The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

This case is being investigated by agents with the United States Postal Inspection Service.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Stephanie N. Toussaint is prosecuting the case.


Updated September 4, 2018

Consumer Protection
Elder Justice