A College Park, Georgia man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for taking advantage of elderly people in a lottery scam that cost victims millions.
According to an official release from the United States Department of Justice, Adedayo Akinwunmi Agbayewa, 45, will serve his half-decade prison term in addition to paying $7,784,415 in restitution for his mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy.
The news release also shares details of the case, which involved Agbayewa targeting elderly victims in California and around the United States in a lottery sweepstakes scam.
Agbayewa and his co-conspirators used false names and posed as telemarketers to falsely notify senior citizens that they "won" a sweepstakes or lottery entry.
The DoJ noted specifically that "victims were told that they had to pay taxes or fees before they could receive their winnings. The victims mailed checks or deposited money into bank accounts as directed by the individuals involved in the scheme."
No prize money, of course, was every deposited into victims' accounts since the entire setup was a scam.
California news network KSBY shared additional information about the case, including the following statement from California State Lottery Director Alva V. Johnson:
“This is an incredibly important reminder for everyone who plays any of our California Lottery games. We want to make sure everyone knows that the California Lottery does NOT charge taxes or fees for players to claim their prize. We take these sorts of scams very seriously, and our best defense is to continue educating Californians so they can continue to play and win in a safe manner.”
This case was investigated by the IRS‑Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).
What are your thoughts on this case?
You Might Also Enjoy: