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Financial Crimes
09/27/2013

HSI, Jamaican law enforcement arrest 8 in lottery scam

JAMAICA — Eight individuals arrested last week in Jamaica for their involvement in a fraudulent lottery scheme were charged Friday with various criminal violations. The arrests were a result of a joint investigation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and Jamaica's Major Organised Crime and Anticorruption Task Force (MOCA).

Special agents from HSI and detectives from MOCA conducted simultaneous enforcement operations in four parishes – Hanover, St. James, Trelawny and St. Ann – and arrested Tawayne Jason Foster, 21; Simone Motta, 27; Troy Keron Jones, 28; Shawnavon Antonio Wray, 23; Carl Gooden, 53; Carrick De-Alxis Gooden,25; Calvin Donaldson, 22; and Oshane Tyrell, 18.

Seven of the defendants were charged with breaches of the Law Reform Act. Foster, Motta and Gooden were charged with violating the Dangerous Drugs Act and Foster and Motta were additionally charged with violating the Proceed of Crime Act.

This enforcement action is the second phase of an operation that took place May 8 to16 in Fort Lauderdale, Fla. In that operation, detectives from MOCA visited Fort Lauderdale where they worked with members of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service (USPIS), Social Security Administration (SSA), U.S. Marshals Service, the Broward County (Fla.) Sheriff's Office and the Fort Lauderdale Police Department. During that period, over $300,000 was seized in packages sent from more than 20 unsuspecting U.S. citizens destined for Jamaica.

This second operation conducted in Jamaica was planned and executed in an effort to curtail the benefits obtained from scamming unsuspecting individuals. It was led by MOCA, with assistance provided by the finance investigations division of the Jamaica Defence Force's Anti-Corruption Branch and law enforcement officials from USPIS and HSI. Western Union Global Security also assisted in the investigation.

All of the individuals charged except Jones and Gooden were found in possession of lottery scam paraphernalia. Several electronic devices which are believed to contain paraphernalia of the scamming were seized and were submitted for cyber forensics analysis. Additionally, three cars were seized.

All of the individuals arrested were granted bail and the investigations relating to this case are ongoing.