You are here

Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Northern District of New York

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 1, 2016

Schenectady Man Admits to Participating in Jamaican Lottery Scam

Jamaican Lottery Scam Defrauded Elderly Victims of More Than $67,000

ALBANY, NEW YORK – Jeragh Powell, age 25, of Schenectady, New York, pled guilty today to mail fraud charges arising out of a Jamaica-based lottery scam that mainly targeted elderly victims.

The announcement was made by United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Shelly A. Binkowski, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division.

As part of his plea, Powell, a citizen of Jamaica, admitted to working with his wife Kimberly Powell, a co-defendant, and others, to mail false lottery prize notifications to mostly elderly individuals located throughout the United States.  The fraudulent prize notifications letters congratulated the victims on winning a recent drawing and instructed them to pay tens of thousands of dollars in “fees and taxes” and “shipping and handling” in order to receive their purported prize money and cars.  Members of the conspiracy located in Jamaica also communicated with the victims by telephone, directing them to make payments to specific individuals in the United States.

Jeragh Powell and his wife Kimberly, age 37, of Schenectady, received more than $67,000 from victims of the scheme, and forwarded a large portion of the proceeds to Jeragh Powell’s associates in Jamaica.   Kimberly Powell is scheduled to plead guilty to mail fraud charges on August 3.

Jeragh Powell faces up to 20 years in prison, 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, and a $250,000 fine when he is sentenced on November 29, 2016 by U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino.  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 was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), and is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Coffman.

To report or learn more about mail-based scams, please contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, at 877-876-2455 or by visiting https://postalinspectors.uspis.gov.

Topic(s): 
Consumer Protection
Financial Fraud
Updated August 1, 2016