Defendant Sentenced to 51 Months’ Imprisonment for Defrauding Elderly Victims in Lottery and Sweepstakes Scams
Earlier today, in federal court in Brooklyn, Lorindo Powell was sentenced by United States District Judge Margo K. Brodie to 51 months’ imprisonment and ordered to pay $770,632.50 in restitution following Powell’s guilty plea to one count of conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud and one count of access device fraud for her schemes to defraud elderly victims over the course of more than a decade. In total, Powell stole at least $770,632.50 from her victims. Powell pleaded guilty to the charges in May 2018. A co-defendant, Tavoy Malcolm, pleaded guilty in August 2017 and is awaiting sentencing.
Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, and Angel M. Melendez, Special Agent-in-Charge, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), New York, announced the sentence.
“Powell has now been held to account for targeting vulnerable victims, gaining their trust and stealing their savings,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue. “Elder fraud enforcement is a Department of Justice priority, and this Office will continue to investigate and prosecute criminals who prey on senior citizens.”
“Powell’s actions were shameful as she preyed on the susceptibilities of the elderly, including a couple with dementia and another who was left homeless,” stated HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Melendez. “Elder fraud is of serious concern and law enforcement will continue to investigate, arrest and prosecute those who choose to take advantage of our aging population rather than take care of them.”
In 2009, Powell contacted Jane Doe #1, a 79-year-old teacher in Brooklyn, with a purported opportunity to claim lottery winnings. Powell induced Jane Doe #1 to skip her mortgage payments and make payments to her instead. Powell also persuaded Jane Doe #1 to cash and hand over her paychecks for years. As a result, Jane Doe #1 was evicted from her home in 2011. Powell took control of Jane Doe #1’s retirement account, changing the email address to Powell’s own and impersonating Jane Doe #1 in order to make withdrawals. Jane Doe #1 lost at least $589,000 as a result of Powell’s actions.
Beginning in 2011, Powell induced Jane Doe #3 and her husband, a Maryland couple suffering from dementia, to wire money to Powell and others, purportedly to claim lottery winnings. In total, the two victims lost at least $119,476.50.
In October 2016, Powell defrauded John Doe #1, an 89-year-old man living in Florida, of approximately $23,000 after contacting him about purported sweepstakes winnings.
In between December 2016 and April 2017, Powell obtained Jane Doe #2’s personal identification information by posing as a bank representative and stole over $38,000 by making withdrawals from her checking account and charging purchases to her credit card. At the time, Jane Doe #2, a woman in her 90s, was residing in a New Jersey retirement home.
The government’s case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Alexander Mindlin.
Brooklyn, New York
E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 17-CR-311 (MKB)
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