Man said to be Jamaican lottery scam kingpin gets 6 years

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Jamaican man who authorities said masterminded a lottery scam that defrauded at least 95 mostly elderly Americans out of more than $5.8 million has been sentenced to six years in federal prison.

Prosecutors said 29-year-old Lavrick Willocks operated the scam out of a Jamaica mansion. They eventually charged 27 people and identified victims in several states.

It’s believed to be the first large-scale Jamaican lottery scam tried in U.S. courts. It was prosecuted in North Dakota because the investigation began there six years ago.

All of the defendants have pleaded guilty or been convicted. Willocks pleaded guilty in July 2017 to conspiracy, and prosecutors dropped 65 other counts of wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

Willocks apologized for his involvement during Monday’s sentencing but denied being the kingpin.

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