A 27-year-old man from Jamaica who took part in a sweepstakes fraud targeting elderly Floridians was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison.
Darryl Cleon Forbes pleaded guilty Nov. 18, 2019, to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
He was ordered to forfeit $2.4 million and pay $1,122,957 in restitution.
According to court documents, from early 2015 until December 2017, Forbes and others operated a fake sweepstakes scheme in Jamaica, part of Florida and elsewhere.
Forbes and his co-conspirators, posing as government officials from the FBI or the Department of Treasury, lied to victims and told them they had won a sweepstakes prize and need to send money via wire transfer to pay fees and taxes and claim the prize.
Forbes and his co-conspirators often targeted victims who were elderly and more susceptible to fraud, prosecutors said.
After they got them send money, they would often call again and try to get them to send more money by telling them more lies.
The conspirators would often tell the victims that they had to send additional fees and taxes to ensure the safe delivery of the prize, prosecutors said. They kept making calls until the victims couldn’t or wouldn’t pay any more.
No victim of the conspiracy ever received a promised prize. Forbes and his co-conspirators kept all of the funds for their own personal benefit, prosecutors said.
Forbes and his co-conspirators also recruited residents in the United States to open bank accounts to deposit and transfer the fraudulently obtained funds then got the personal info of victims and used it to transfer or get others to transfer money so the conspirators could make ATM withdrawals.