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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Rochester Man Charged With Participating In Jamaican Lottery Scam

CONTACT: Barbara Burns
PHONE:  (716) 843-5817
FAX #:                 (716) 551-3051

ROCHESTER, N.Y.-U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul Jr. announced today that Charles Hanks, 46, of Rochester, NY, was arrested and charged by criminal complaint with mail fraud.  The charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, and a $250,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorney John J. Field, who is handling the case, stated that according to the complaint, Hanks participated in a Jamaican lottery scam.  In this fraud, individuals were told that they had won a lottery and other prizes, and in order to collect the winnings, they needed to remit thousands of dollars in “fees.”  The scam targeted the elderly, some of whom lost their life savings. The defendant received money from the victims which he then forwarded to Jamaica after keeping a portion of the funds for himself.

The defendant made an initial appearance today before Magistrate Judge Jonathan W. Feldman. Hanks was released on conditions pending further proceedings on July 14, 2015, at 11:00 a.m.

The criminal complaint is the culmination of an investigation on the part of the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Shelly Binkowski, Inspector in Charge, Boston Division.
The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Updated May 13, 2015