Schenectady Woman Admits to Participating in Jamaican Lottery Scam
Scheme Defrauded Elderly Victims of More Than $67,000
ALBANY, NEW YORK – Kimberly Powell, age 37, 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 her plea, Powell admitted to working with her husband Jeragh 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.
Kimberly Powell and her husband Jeragh, age 25, 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. Jeragh Powell pled guilty to mail fraud charges on August 1.
Jeragh and Kimberly Powell each face up to 20 years in prison, 3 years of post-imprisonment supervised release, and a $250,000 fine when they are sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mae A. D’Agostino. Jeragh Powell’s sentencing is scheduled for November 29, Kimberly Powell’s for December 2. 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 is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey C. Coffman.