Fort Pierce Woman Pleads Guilty to Jamaican Lottery Scam
Sheila Denise Kelly-Christie, 48, of Fort Pierce, pled guilty today to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 371 and 2326. Sentencing is scheduled for August 10, 2015, at 3:00 p.m., before U.S. District Judge Jose E. Martinez in Ft. Pierce. At sentencing, Kelly-Christie faces up to fifteen years in prison.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Alysa D. Erichs, Special Agent in Charge, United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), and Ronald J. Verrochio, Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Division, made the announcement.
According to court documents, Kelly-Christie was a participant in a Jamaica based scam primarily targeting persons over the age of 55. Kelly-Christie and her co-conspirators in Jamaica, contacted individuals throughout the United States by telephone and falsely told the victims that they had won a lottery or sweepstakes prize. The callers instructed the victims that in order to the claim the prize, the victims had to send money to the scammers in order to pay non-existent fees, registration taxes and the like. The co-conspirators would direct the victims to send their payments to individuals and addresses located in Florida. Kelly-Christie and individuals she would recruit to aid in the scam would receive money from the victims, by U.S. mail, wire transfer, or deposits that were uploaded to debit cards. In turn, Kelly-Christie would keep ten percent of the fraudulently induced payments and forward the remainder of the monies to co-conspirators in Jamaica. During the course of the fraudulent scheme, Kelly-Christie is believed to have received and forwarded over $70,000 in fraudulently induced payments from victims.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of USPIS and HSI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Theodore M. Cooperstein.
A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov