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Rhode Island man sentenced for role in lottery scam

November 1, 2019 GMT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison for his role in a Jamaica-based telemarketing scam that targeted elderly U.S. citizens.

Federal prosecutors say 49-year-old Shawn Whitfield, of Pawtucket, received more than $109,000 in upfront payments from victims of the scam who were led to believe they had won cash or prizes in a lottery or sweepstakes.

Some victims were told they had won as much as $82 million. Others were told they were in line to receive $5,000 a week for life.

But the victims had to pay upfront fees to cover “taxes” and other expenses.

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Most of the money collected by Whitfield was transferred electronically to Jamaica.

Whitfield pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud.