Friday, 01 July 2022 14:20

Jamaican gets 5 years for scamming elderly American of nearly US$1m

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AJamaican man has been sentenced to just over five years in US Federal Prison for scamming an elderly woman of nearly US$1 million.

The man, Rajay Dobson, who is from Trelawny, was also ordered to pay US$881,477.41 in restitution for his role in the lottery scheme that targeted the Estes Park, Colorado woman.

The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Colorado announced the 63-month sentence on Thursday, which should be followed by three years of supervised release. It also said Dobson was extradited from Jamaica.

According to court documents, Dobson and another Jamaican, Leonard Luton, conspired to convince an elderly victim that she had won a US$2.8 million lottery and a Mercedes Benz but needed to pay thousands of dollars in “fees” to receive her winnings.

In total, the victim was scammed out of more than US$970,000.

During the scam, Dobson instructed the victim to mail packages of cash and cashier’s checks, in addition to six iPhones, to the addresses of Luton’s friends. Dobson reportedly called the victim hundreds of times, grooming her to convince her to carry out his instructions.

On two occasions, according to court documents, at Dobson’s direction, Luton made trips to the elderly woman’s home in Estes Park to pick up packages of cash.

The release from the US Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado said, during the first trip in October 2018, one of Luton’s co-conspirators went to the victim’s door at 1:30am, identified himself as an FBI agent, showed her a fake FBI badge, and directed her to hand over a package containing US$65,000 in cash.

On the second trip in January of 2019, however, Luton was arrested at the victim’s residence when he arrived to pick up more cash.

The release said, upon his arrest, he had one of the iPhones purchased by the victim.

United States District Court Judge Christine M Arguello sentenced Dobson on June 29, 2022. He pleaded guilty on March 24, 2022, to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud.

The Court also entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of US$881,477.41 and imposed a $100 special assessment fee, the release said.

“These fraudsters took advantage of one of our community’s most vulnerable victims,” said US Attorney Cole Finegan.

“We want to make it clear: Individuals who prey on the elderly will be held accountable."

"Scammers often prey on elderly individuals, who might be embarrassed and reluctant to come forward. In this case, by the time legitimate law enforcement was notified, the victim was defrauded of almost one million dollars," said Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider. "The FBI is committed to combating these scammers, even those located outside of the United States."

The other Jamaican, Luton, was sentenced on August 4, 2021, to 108 months in prison after being convicted at trial in February of 2020.

The release said his sentence was enhanced due to multiple instances of obstruction of justice. He was also ordered to pay US$881,477.41 in restitution to the victim, and an order of forfeiture was issued in the amount of US$484,123.16.

After Luton was sentenced, the release said the US located, arrested, and extradited Dobson from Jamaica.