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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Florida

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Jamaican National Arrested in Broward and Charged in Connection with International Lottery Scheme Based in Jamaica

A Jamaican national is charged in the Southern District of Florida with participating in an international telemarketing scheme based in Jamaica.

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and Delany De-Leon Colon, Acting Inspector in Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Miami Division, made the announcement.  

Joseph C. Smith, 28, of Montego Bay, Jamaica was arrested in the Southern District of Florida for his role in a Jamaica based telemarketing fraud scheme.  Smith is charged, by indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1349, mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341 and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18 United States Code, Section 1343.  Smith faces a statutory maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. 

According to the indictment, beginning in or about June 2010, Smith’s co-conspirators are alleged to have contacted individual victims in the United States and falsely informed them that they had won a lottery.  These co-conspirators told victims they had to pay between several hundred to several thousand dollars, in order to collect their purported lottery winnings.  The co-conspirators then instructed the victims on how to send this money, and to whom, including directing that the funds be sent to Smith. 

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of USPIS, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations (ICE-HSI), Miami Field Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Broward County Drug Task Force and the Miami-Dade Police Department Economic Crimes Bureau.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Bertha R. Mitrani.

An indictment is only an accusation and a defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.       

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.

Updated April 21, 2016