Nigerian man jailed for 14 years over lottery scam
SANTA ANA, CA – A Nigerian man was sentenced to 14 years in federal prison for his part in an international lottery scam which swindled many senior citizens out of more than $2.7 million.
A U.S District Court judge sentenced Emmanuel Onwuzulike, who also went by the alias ‘Tony Moore’ , to 168 months in prison and also told him that he would have to pay full compensation to all his proven victims.
From 2004 to 2006, Mr. Onwuzulike was part of an organization that targeted at least fifty people all over the world and took a large amount of money from them.
According to prosecutors fake businesses contacted potential victims to tell them they had won a lottery prize but that in order to collect their “winnings,” they had to call telemarketers in Spain or England. The people in the call centres informed the victims that they would need to pay taxes or other fees to receive the prizes. Obviously the prize money the people had been promised never turned up in their bank accounts.
In June 2006, an Orange County resident received a letter indicating that she had won $815,950 from the Euromillones Spanish Sweepstake Lottery. The letter also said that she would have to pay two per cent tax in order to receive the winnings.
The woman wired $16,319 to a bank account controlled by Onwuzulike, prosecutors said, but was never sent any money.
Another Orange County resident received a similar letter, and sent the bogus company in question “lottery taxes” of $39,241 after being told she had won $3.8 million in the Australian lottery.
A third Southern California victim, a woman from the San Fernando Valley, lost her home after sending Onwuzulike $368,000, prosecutors said.
source: Orange County Register
Published: December 1, 2010