Wednesday, 01 June 2022 14:00

Jamaica Gets First Lottery Scamming Conviction

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In a historic first, a jury sitting in the Supreme Court has convicted a lottery scammer in Jamaica.

The man, Kemar Townsend, was convicted this week in the St. Catherine Circuit Court of lottery scamming and money laundering.

 Lottery scamming and money laundering offences are usually heard in a judge alone trial.

The trial, which lasted two-weeks, was presided over by Justice Bertram Morrison.

The jury returned the unanimous guilty verdict after deliberating for less than an hour.

Townsend was found guilty of the offences of Conspiracy to Obtain Money by False Pretence, Engaging in a transaction involving Criminal Property and Possession of Criminal Property.

The complainant, a seventy-two year-old United States citizen, testified that she received several telephone calls from at least two persons informing her that she had won the lottery: a total of US$682-million, three motor vehicles and $297,000.00 USD in refund.

She testified that she was instructed by one of the callers that the funds were being housed in Jamaica and therefore she had to send money to Jamaica to claim her prizes.

The complainant on 3 separate occasions sent money to a local bank account held by the accused, Kemar Townsend.

On December 14, 2017, the complainant sent US$9-thousand, on December 21, that same year the complainant sent US$10-thousand and on January 3, 2018, she sent $25-thousand to Townsend’s local bank account.

Townsend gave evidence that he thought the money received in his bank account were sent by his lover who resided in Switzerland as his lover would usually send large sums of cash to him.

He further testified that he did not know that these sums were sent by the complainant nor that they were criminal property.

He indicated that he was expecting funds from his lover around the same time that the complainant sent the money to his bank account.