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Press Release

Jamaican Resident Sentenced To Over Five Years In Prison For Role In Fake Lottery Scam

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – A resident of Jamaica, West Indies, was sentenced today to 63 months in prison for swindling elderly residents of the United States by falsely telling them they had won millions of dollars in Jamaican lotteries, Acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Ricardo Reid, 32, previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

From 2011 to 2016, Reid purchased mailing lists that contained addresses and other information of elderly individuals and then solicited these individuals by tricking them into believing they had won millions in lotteries and sweepstakes. He also told the elderly individuals that in order to redeem these fictitious winnings, they had to pay registration fees and other fees and taxes. Reid told the victims that the calls were from officials of the United States, such as the IRS, and from lottery or bank officials.

Reid admitted that he used aliases like “Robert Gates,” “Mr. Bogohazian,” and “Damien Boswel,” and used call forwarding and Voice Over Internet Protocol services to make and receive calls, all while masking his phone number and location.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced Reid to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay restitution of $577,703.78.

Anyone with information regarding possible victims of this activity is urged to contact the U.S. Postal Inspectors in Newark at 973-693-5400.

Acting U.S. Attorney Fitzpatrick credited inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Joseph W. Cronin, and special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), Newark Field Office, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Michael McCarthy, with the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lorraine S. Gerson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

Defense counsel: K. Anthony Thomas Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark

Updated November 16, 2017

Elder Justice
Press Release Number: 17-434