Justice is served for the victims of an internationally operated lottery scam. A Nigerian man was scamming the elderly in Southern California . The victims would receive a letter in the mail claiming they had won an international lottery prize and could only redeem the winnings if they paid a tax. He scammed a total of $2.7m from his victims. He was ordered to pay his victims back in full but it is unclear how or if he has the means to do so. Remember, if you receive a phone call, e-mail or written letter claiming you won a lottery prize – it is a SCAM! You never have to pay to collect a prize, in all American lotteries, any tax, child support or other monies owed to the government will be automatically deducted from the winnings. Unfortunately, these types of scams show no sign of coming to a halt. At least in this case, the man was caught and sentenced to 14 years in federal prison. Here’s a summary of the story as reported by dailybreeze.com:
Nigerian gets 14 years in international lottery scam
A Nigerian behind bogus lottery scams that operated worldwide, including in Southern California, was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for conning mostly elderly victims out of more than $2.7 million, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Emmanuel I. Onwuzulike, 53, who went by Tony Moore, was sentenced Monday by U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer. Onwuzulike was ordered him to repay all 52 victims in full, but it was unclear if he had the means to do so, or if authorities had seized sufficient funds.
Onwuzulike told people in Orange County, the San Fernando Valley and across the United States that they had won cash prizes but had to pay a fee to get them, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Some people were victimized twice, or “reloaded,” when associates in England or Spain told them they needed to pay more fees or taxes on the winnings.
The con came to light in June 2006, when an Orange County victim got a letter saying she had won $815,950 in the Euromillones lottery in Spain, prosecutors said. The letter said to call a London office, where the woman was told to pay a 2 percent tax to get the winnings.
The victim wired $16,319 to an account controlled by Onwuzulike, but she never received a cent.
Another Orange County woman wired a total of $39,241 to the scammers after being told she won $3.8 million in an Australian lottery, prosecutors said.