US woman jailed for involvement in Lottery Scam

Jamaica's lottery scammers have taken their illegal activities to another level, recruiting one of their American victims to join them in deceiving other victims.

In the most recent case originating in the United States, a woman who was conned out of  cash by Jamaican scammers, was in turn convinced to join in their  illegal activity to recoup her losses. The  74-year-old Georgia woman is now in Kosciusko County Jail, facing money laundering and theft charges for allegedly participating in a lottery scam with Jamaican links.

Kosciusko County Sheriff’s Department deputies were contacted by a local elderly couple that was scammed out of thousands of dollars in the Jamaican lottery scam. During the scam, victims are told they have won a foreign lottery, but have to pay advanced fees, customs duties or taxes before they can claiming the money. 

The couple in this instance also discovered their Social Security cheques were being diverted to a location in Georgia. Detectives followed the money trail to Joanne Karene McCrary in Calhoun, Georgia.

According to deputies, McCrary was then transferring the stolen funds and mailing the funds on bank cards to Jamaica. Detectives went to Georgia and arrested her on two counts of felony money laundering and two counts of felony theft.    

First Sergeant Chad Hill said she had been scammed for tens of thousands of dollars herself and, having lost so much money, the scammers decided they would work with her to recover an equivalent sum for herself by scamming others. According to Sergeant Hill, they basically made Ms. McCrary a 'mule' providing them money through Georgia.

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