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Press Release

Jamaican Citizen Indicted for Defrauding Elderly Albany Couple

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of New York
Indicted on 12 Counts of Mail Fraud and 1 Count of Mail Fraud Conspiracy

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Kevin R. Palmer, age 36, a Jamaican citizen residing in Suwanee, Georgia, was indicted today and accused of stealing more than $320,000 from an elderly Albany couple in a mail-based prize scam.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Grant C. Jaquith and Joseph Cronin, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Boston Division.

The indictment alleges that Palmer and conspirators mailed documents that falsely informed victims that they had won lottery and other prizes, and were required to pay fees and taxes in order to claim their prizes. 

In 2017, R.H. and D.H., an elderly couple residing in Albany County, were contacted through the mail and by telephone, and were told that they needed to send money in order to obtain an inheritance and tax refund, and claim lottery and sweepstakes prize money, according to the indictment and a previously filed criminal complaint. 

As instructed, R.H. and D.H. mailed bank checks to addresses in Georgia, including Palmer’s address.  They mailed a total of 12 checks; 10 of these checks were payable to Palmer, and all 12 were deposited into bank accounts for which Palmer was a signatory.

The charges in the indictment and complaint are merely accusations. The defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

On October 4, Postal Inspectors arrested Palmer at his residence in Georgia.  Palmer is in federal custody in Georgia pending further proceedings, and will be arraigned in Albany, New York, at a later date.  If convicted of mail fraud or mail fraud conspiracy, he faces up to 20 years in prison and a maximum $250,000 fine.  A defendant’s sentence is imposed by a judge based on the particular statute the defendant is charged with violating, the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other factors.

This case is being investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, with assistance from the Georgia Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations, and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Barnett.

Fraudsters routinely use the U.S. Mail to falsely inform victims that they have to pay “fees” or “taxes” in order to receive a tax refund, lottery or sweepstakes prize, or inheritance.  These scams often target the elderly.  To learn how to detect and avoid these scams, please visit the web site of the Federal Trade Commission, at

Updated October 10, 2018

Elder Justice
Financial Fraud