NEWARK, N.J. – A resident of Jamaica, West Indies, today admitted swindling elderly residents of the United States by falsely telling them they had won millions of dollars in Jamaican lotteries, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Ricardo Reid, 31, pleaded before U.S. District Court Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court to an indictment charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: From 2011 to 2016, Reid purchased mailing lists that contained addresses and other information of elderly individuals and then solicited these individuals by tricking them into believing they had won millions in lotteries and sweepstakes.
He also told the elderly individuals that in order to redeem these fictitious winnings, they had to pay registration fees and other fees and taxes.
Reid told the victims that the calls were from officials of the United States, such as the IRS, and from lottery or bank officials.
Reid admitted that he used aliases like “Robert Gates,” “Mr. Bogohazian,” and “Damien Boswel,” and used call forwarding and Voice Over Internet Protocol services to make and receive calls, masking his phone number and location.
The conspiracy county to which Reid pleaded guilty carries a maximum prison term of 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 27, 2017 .
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Terence S. Opiola; and inspectors of U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge James V. Buthorn, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Lorraine S. Gerson of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.
Defense counsel: K. Anthony Thomas Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Newark