Jamaican Citizen Admits to Participating in Lottery Scam Targeting Elderly Victims
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Daron Murray, age 22, and a citizen of Jamaica, pled guilty yesterday to mail fraud, and conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, for his role in a Jamaica-based lottery scam that targeted elderly victims.
The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian; Shelly A. Binkowski, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division; and James C. Spero, Special Agent in Charge of the Buffalo Field Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
As part of his plea, Murray admitted that, between December 2012 and October 2014, he and others carried out an advance-fee scheme by falsely informing elderly victims in the United States that they had won the lottery and that, to claim their winnings, they first needed to pay taxes and fees. For instance, while in Jamaica, Murray repeatedly called a 92-year-old blind victim from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and instructed the victim to make advance payments to process paperwork and claim millions of dollars in purported winnings from the New York Lottery. The victim sent $20,000 to one of Murray’s conspirators who lived in Albany, New York.
Murray faces up to 20 years in prison, 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced by United States District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino on October 3, 2017. A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the United States Sentencing Guidelines, and other factors.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Sean O’Dowd.