Jamaican Woman Sentenced for Lottery Scam Targeting Elderly Victims
ALEXANDRIA, Va. – A Jamaican citizen was sentenced today to six years in prison for orchestrating a lottery fraud that scammed elderly victims out of approximately $385,000.
“The financial and emotional harm these scams cause elderly victims and their family members can be devastating,” said G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia. “This office will continue to aggressively prosecute crimes involving elder fraud, and we are firmly committed to bringing the offenders to justice, no matter where they reside.”
According to court documents, Tessicar Karelle Jumpp, 34, conspired with several of her family members and associates to scam elderly victims out of their savings. From her home in Jamaica, Jumpp contacted victims in the United States and used an alias to pretend to be a representative of Publishers Clearing House. Jumpp falsely informed her victims that they had won a lottery prize of millions of dollars, but that in order to collect their winnings, they would need to pay taxes and advance fees. Jumpp then instructed her victims to send funds through wire transfers and in packages of cash mailed to her co-conspirators in the United States. Those co-conspirators would keep a portion of the funds and then send the remainder to Jumpp and others in Jamaica. Jumpp’s victims included an 85-year-old woman from Great Falls who was scammed out of over $335,000, and an 85-year-old Massachusetts man who was defrauded out of almost $50,000.
“The U.S. Postal Inspection Service is grateful for the strong working relationships that led to the successful resolution of this case,” said Eric Shen, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. “Postal Inspectors will continue to work together with our other federal law enforcement partners to ensure that criminals who target elderly and vulnerable victims in the United States cannot hide behind international borders.”
Earlier this year, the Department of Justice and its law enforcement partners coordinated the largest sweep of elder fraud cases in history. The cases involved more than 250 defendants from around the globe who victimized more than 1 million Americans, most of whom were elderly. The cases include criminal, civil, and forfeiture actions across more than 50 federal districts.
“This case is an excellent example of the interagency cooperation required to dismantle an international scheme designed to target elderly U.S. citizens,” said Brian A. Michael, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Newark Field Office. “HSI’s financial expertise coupled with our international footprint demonstrates even those criminals operating outside of the United States will be pursued vigorously.”
“This investigation exemplifies the positive outcomes that the FBI and our partner law enforcement agencies are bringing about in a continued effort to protect all American citizens, but particularly our senior citizens, from scams,” said Matthew J. DeSarno, Special Agent in Charge of the Criminal Division, FBI Washington Field Office. “In addition to the Special Agents, Intelligence Analysts, and Inspectors, I want to thank our foreign partners in Jamaica for their coordination, which led to today’s sentencing.”
G. Zachary Terwilliger, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, Nancy McNamara, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office, Eric Shen, Acting Inspector in Charge of the Washington Division of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and Brian A. Michael, Special Agent in Charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Newark Field Office, made the announcement after sentencing by Senior U.S. District Judge T.S. Ellis III. Assistant U.S. Attorney Samantha Bateman prosecuted the case.
A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia. Related court documents and information are located on the website of the District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia or on PACER by searching for Case No. 1:14-cr-416.