Posted on: August 4, 2023, 10:18h.
Last updated on: August 4, 2023, 10:18h.
A guilty plea has been made by one of the principal criminals involved in a fake lottery scam that defrauded elderly victims of hundreds of thousands of dollars. Antony Linton Stewart, 39, from St. James Parish, Jamaica, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges to commit mail and wire fraud. The scheme involved calling elderly people and falsely informing them of their cash and prize winnings in a lottery. To collect their winnings, victims were asked to pay fees and taxes. However, the winnings never existed, and the money sent by victims ended up in Stewart’s hands.
The scheme targeting the elderly is just one of many fraudulent scams that federal authorities have investigated. Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s (DOJ) Civil Division, stated, “The Department of Justice’s Consumer Protection Branch is committed to investigating fraudulent schemes targeting elderly Americans, wherever those schemes are based.” U.S. Attorney for the Western District of North Carolina Dena J. King added that fraudulent activities by scammers targeting older Americans occur in the United States and elsewhere.
Antony Linton Stewart’s guilty plea exemplifies the Department of Justice’s efforts to deter fraud against elderly consumers originating from foreign locations.
To report financial fraud against individuals aged 60 or older, victims can contact the DOJ’s National Elder Fraud Hotline at 1-833-FRAUD-11 (1-833-372-8311). The hotline is staffed seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. ET and offers support in multiple languages. However, the DOJ warns about recent scam attempts where callers falsely claim to be from the hotline or the DOJ, threatening legal action and soliciting personal information. The DOJ advises individuals never to provide Social Security numbers or send money in response to such calls.