Confessed scammer faces 40 years behind bars
Lavrick Willocks, the Jamaican man who led a lottery-scam ring that fleeced scores of elderly American citizens out of nearly US$6 million, yesterday pleaded guilty before a judge in the United States.
Assistant United States Attorney for North Dakota, Clare Hochhalter, said Willocks pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit international wire fraud and mail fraud in connection with telemarketing fraud.
It comes nearly two weeks after authorities in North Dakota announced that they had reached an agreement with Willocks to admit his role in a lottery-scam scheme that bilked at least
80 elderly Americans out of US$5.7 million.
According to Hochhalter, US District Court Judge Daniel Hovland reviewed the terms of the agreement before accepting it.
Hovland did not set a date for sentencing.
Willocks faces a maximum prison sentence of 40 years, though prosecutors in court documents say that they will recommend a shorter term in return for Willocks' admission of guilt. The government will also recommend that Willocks pay restitution.
Meanwhile, another Jamaican, Gregory Gooden, was yesterday extradited on lottery scamming charges to the US.
Gooden is one of 14 defendants charged by the US attorney for the District of North Dakota with lottery scamming-related crimes.