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$25M lottery scam aimed at elderly busted
Wednesday, July 22, 2009 posted 11:21 AM EDT
The feds on Tuesday dismantled an Israeli boiler-room operation that conned elderly U.S. victims out of $25 million by telling
them they'd won a sweepstakes lottery.
A dozen members of the international telemarketing ring were named in a three-count fraud indictment handed up yesterday
in Manhattan Federal Court.
Prosecutors say ring members bought more than 185,000 names from U.S.-based brokers to find victims to dupe into turning
over hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash to claim the prize.
"Despite sending substantial amounts of money to Israel, none of the victims received any money," the indictment says.
The scam operated between 2005 and 2009, and was taken down with the help of a law enforcement agent posing as a would-be
Affluent victims were referred to "shooters" who, claiming to be lawyers, told them they'd have to turn over thousands of
dollars as payment for taxes on the award.
Victims sent cashier's checks to a mail-forwarding business in Rockland County, which shipped the checks to Cyprus, officials
Read more: http://www.nydailynews.com/news/us_world/2009/07/22/2009-07-22_25m_lottery_scam_aimed_at_elderly_busted.html#ixzz0M0BR9NTM