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Press Release

Fraudster Sentenced to 78 Months in Federal Prison for Running Lottery/Sweepstakes Scam

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of Texas
Defendant Also Must Pay More than $500,000 in Restitution

FORT WORTH, Texas — Andre Hugh Saunders, 35, was sentenced yesterday by U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor to 78 months in federal prison and ordered to pay $505,403 in restitution to the victims.  This sentence followed his guilty plea in November 2015 to an indictment charging one count of mail fraud stemming from a lottery/sweepstakes scheme targeting elderly victims, announced U.S. Attorney John Parker of the Northern District of Texas.

Saunders, a/k/a David Turner, has been in custody since his arrest in October 2015 in New York on a criminal complaint.  He resided in and/or operated the scam out of Jamaica, Florida and New York.  Saunders is a citizen of Jamaica and a lawful permanent resident of the U.S. 

According to plea documents filed in the case, from approximately November 2012 to July 2015, Saunders defrauded a Fort Worth, Texas, resident by advising him he had won a multimillion-dollar prize in the “Las Vegas, Sidney, Australian Lottery and Sweepstakes,” but that he must pay various administrative fees and taxes prior to collecting the sweepstakes winnings.  This Fort Worth resident believed he had won a sweepstakes and began sending money as Saunders directed. 

As a result of the fraudulent lottery/sweepstakes scheme, Saunders obtained approximately $505,000 from elderly victims, including more than $300,000 from the Fort Worth victim.

The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Nichols prosecuted.

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Updated March 23, 2016

Identity Theft