Lottery Scam: Texas Woman Indicted
According to The Gadsden Times, a Texas woman was recently arrested by federal agents on charges connected with a fraudulent lottery scam. The lottery holds charm for people all over the nation, and Texas is no exception. The Texas woman in question played on this allure and scammed people out of their hard-earned money in the process.
The Lottery Scam
One’s chances of winning it big in the lottery are exceptionally slim. The lottery scam in question involved a 75-year-old woman who notified unsuspecting individuals that they had won the lottery but that they needed to pay taxes or fees on their winnings before they would receive them. This fraud scheme focused on bilking people, including vulnerable elderly people, into paying up (in the form of both money and valuable property) in exchange for lottery winnings that never came.
The woman in question is accused of taking these funds and depositing them into bank accounts over which she had control. The lottery fraud scheme stretched from January 2019 to December 2020, which led to the 75-year-old’s arrest in early January of 2021. Ultimately, the funds were funneled through the woman’s accounts to other accounts that co-conspirators accessed with debit cards from financial institutions overseas.
A federal grand jury indicted the Texas woman on all of the following charges:
One count of conspiracy
Two counts of wire fraud
One count of mail fraud
One count of conspiracy to commit money laundering
Both the FBI and the U.S. Postal Service investigated this exceptionally complicated case.
The penalties associated with federal fraud charges are quite steep, and federal cases are often complex. If convicted, the defendant in the lottery fraud case could face decades in federal prison.
A conviction for money laundering can lead to a fine of up to twice the value of the laundered money (up to $500,000 total) and can lead to a prison sentence that is predicated on any underlying felony convictions.
Mail and Wire Fraud
Both mail and wire fraud carry fines of up to $100,000 (if the scheme involves a bank) and a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.
A conspiracy conviction can carry fines of up to $250,000 and up to 5 years in prison.
You Need the Professional Legal Counsel of an Experienced Killeen Criminal Lawyer on Your Side
If you are facing federal fraud charges – or federal charges of any kind – Brett Pritchard at The Law Office of Brett H. Pritchard in Killeen, Texas, is an esteemed criminal lawyer who is well positioned and well equipped to help. Federal charges are serious charges (with serious fines and penalties to match) that require a solid defense, and Mr. Pritchard has the legal acumen and insight to help you achieve your most favorable case resolution. Our dedicated legal team is committed to skillfully advocating on behalf of your rights, so please do not hesitate to learn more about how we can help you by contacting or calling us at 254-501-4040 today.