Alleged mastermind of Jamaican lottery scam pleads guilty

AP News
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Posted: Jul 27, 2017 4:37 PM
Alleged mastermind of Jamaican lottery scam pleads guilty

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Jamaican man accused of masterminding a lottery scam that defrauded dozens of mostly elderly Americans out of millions of dollars has pleaded guilty to conspiracy.

Twenty-eight-year-old Lavrick Willocks reached a deal with federal prosecutors in North Dakota and appeared in court Thursday to enter his plea. Prosecutors dropped 65 counts of fraud and money laundering.

Willocks faces up to 40 years in prison, though he's more likely to get about 10 years because he cooperated with authorities. The government also will recommend that he pay restitution.

Sentencing wasn't immediately scheduled.

Fourteen other people are charged in the case. One of them reached a plea deal with prosecutors Wednesday. Assistant U.S. Attorney Clare Hochhalter says he's hopeful there will be more plea deals reached.