Jamaican Nationals Living In SC Sentenced In Lottery Scam Targeting Elderly

Twenty-five of their victims were older than 80 …

The United States Attorney’s Office District of South Carolina announced Wednesday that four Myrtle Beach residents were sentenced to federal prison for their roles in a lottery scam that resulted in the theft of more than $300,000 from at least 67 elderly victims across the country.

Twenty-five of those victims were older than 80 years old, and several victims were targeted multiple times, according to a news release.

All four defendants are Jamaican nationals, according to a news release.

Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Postal Inspection Service began this case with an investigation into individuals in the Myrtle Beach area who were operating a lottery telemarketing scam with domestic and international connection,” the release states.

The defendants would target elderly victims through the mail or over the phone, telling them that they had won a sweepstakes.

“The supposed prizes in these sweepstakes usually consisted of millions of dollars, a new vehicle, or other valuable items. The defendants told the victims they had to pay taxes and fees in order to receive their winnings,” according to the release.

The victims mailed prepaid cards, Postal Service money orders, bank money orders, cash and personal checks to pay for the fake taxes and other fees, the release states.

Victims also made deposits into the defendants’ bank accounts and sent wire transfers to the defendants, the release states.

The ill-begotten money was transferred to co-conspirators in Jamaica, and the defendants retained a 25 percent cut of the scamming proceeds, according to the release.

United States Judge Sherri A. Lydon sentenced Fabian Gray, a/k/a “Mike Taylor,” 30, and Romaine Gordon, 30, to 63 months in prison; Avia Reid, 30, to 51 months in prison; and Khalelah Powell, 20, to 33 months.

All four were sentenced to three years of court-ordered supervision to follow their federal prison sentences in the event they are not deported upon release. They were also ordered to pay $349,433.75 in restitution to their victims.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Derek A. Shoemake prosecuted the case.



(Via: Provided)

Liz Farrell is the new executive editor at FITSNews. She was named 2018’s top columnist in the state by South Carolina Press Association and is back after taking a nearly two-year break from corporate journalism to reclaim her soul. Email her at or tweet her @ElizFarrell.



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