Charlotte Man Sentenced To Two Years In Connection With Jamaican-based Lottery Fraud Scheme
CHARLOTTE, N.C. –Jahnoy Davis, 25, of Charlotte, was sentenced today to 24 months in prison for his involvement in a Jamaican-based lottery fraud scheme, announced Jill Westmoreland Rose, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina. Chief U.S. District Judge Frank D. Whitney also sentenced Davis to two years of supervised release and ordered the defendant to pay $216,619 as restitution to 12 victims.
According to today’s sentencing hearing and documents filed in the case, from January 2015 to March 2016, Davis was part of a Jamaican-based lottery fraud scheme. Court records show that co-conspirators operating in call centers in Jamaica and elsewhere contacted victims and falsely told them they were the winners of sweepstakes and other prizes. These victims were usually elderly and located throughout the United States. According to court records, the co-conspirators told the victims that they needed to pay various fees in order to claim the prizes and directed the victims to mail cash to co-conspirators, including to Davis.
Court records indicate that the cash frequently was concealed in a magazine inside the postal package. Davis recruited a number of individuals to receive packages and conspired with a U.S. Postal employee to divert packages from that employee’s route. For example, in or about August and September 2015, a victim identified as “W.R.” was contacted by the co-conspirators and informed that he was the winner of a $7.5 million sweepstakes prize. The victim was told that in order to claim the prize, he needed to pay fees in advance. On at least seven occasions, the victim mailed cash via the U.S. mail to various addresses within Charlotte, as instructed by the co-conspirators. The victim was never awarded the $7.5 million “prize.”
Court records indicate that, generally, once Davis received the mailed cash from the sweepstakes victims, he would wire the money in small increments to co-conspirators in Jamaica. In order to conceal the nature of the proceeds, as well as the owner of the proceeds, Davis would also recruit other individuals to send the cash to Jamaica in their names. Davis lied to those individuals about the source of the cash and the purpose of the transfers. According to court records, Davis defrauded at least 12 victims between $250,000 and $500,000.
Davis pleaded guilty in January 2017 to one count of money laundering conspiracy. He will be ordered to report to the Federal Bureau of Prisons upon designation of a federal facility. All federal sentences are served without the possibility of parole.
On April 3, 2017, Antonio Terrell Brown, a former Charlotte-area mail carrier, pleaded guilty to mail theft charges for his involvement the conspiracy. He is currently awaiting sentencing.
In making today’s announcement, U.S. Attorney Rose thanked the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Charlotte, under the direction of Inspector in Charge David M. McGinnis, and the U.S. Postal Service, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Area Special Agent in Charge Paul L. Bowman, for leading the investigation into Davis.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Kelli Ferry, of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Charlotte, is prosecuting the case.