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May 1, 2014
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Jamaican gets five years for lottery scam

A 28-year-old Jamaican man who helped run a lottery scam that mostly targeted seniors in the US was on Tuesday sentenced to five years in federal prison in Florida.

Oneike Mickhale Barnett apologised to all of the victims on Tuesday, though none of them attended his sentencing in federal court in Fort Lauderdale.

It is reported that US authorities said victims of the fraud received phone calls informing them that they had won millions of dollars or other valuable prizes in a lottery, and were persuaded to send advance cash fees of hundreds or thousands of dollars so they could collect their winnings.

Federal prosecutors said the calls were a convincing scam that tricked vulnerable people into sending money to middlemen in South Florida, who then passed it on to the people who ran the conspiracy in Jamaica.

The Jamaican pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

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