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Man Who Conned Elderly 'Lottery Winners' Of $578,000 Gets Prison Time

Martin Luther King Jr. federal courthouse, Newark
Martin Luther King Jr. federal courthouse, Newark Photo Credit: CLIFFVIEW PILOT

A Jamaican resident was sentenced Thursday to 63 months in federal prison for swindling elderly U.S. residents out of their money by telling them they'd won millions in lotteries.

There's no parole in the federal prison system, meaning Ricardo Reid, 32, must serve nearly the entire term.

Reid previously admitted in U.S. District Court in Newark that he bought mailing lists of elderly Americans nationwide, then solicited them over five years, beginning in 2011.

He said he purposely tricked them into believing they had won millions in lotteries and sweepstakes.

In order to redeem their money, however, he said officials from the IRS and other U.S. agencies required they pay various fees.

Reid admitted that he used aliases such as “Robert Gates,” “Mr. Bogohazian,” and “Damien Boswel,” and used call forwarding and Voice Over Internet Protocol services to make and receive calls, all while masking his phone number and location.

In addition to the prison term, Reid must undergo three years of supervised release and pay restitution of $577,703.78.

Acting U.S. Attorney William Fitzpatrick credited postal inspectors and special agents of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) with making the case.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Lorraine S. Gerson of Fitzpatrick's Economic Crimes Unit in Newark secured the guilty plea.

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Any other possible victims are asked to contact the U.S. Postal Inspection Service in Newark: (973) 693-5400 .

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