Associated Press Release
FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) -- A Jamaican man is charged in Florida with operating a lottery scam that targeted elderly people who were told they had to pay upfront fees to collect winnings.
Federal authorities say Oneike Mickhale Barnett was arrested Tuesday in Orlando. Barnett is charged along with another man in a 38-count conspiracy and fraud indictment. Each charge carries a maximum 30-year prison sentence.
Officials say Barnett and others used the Internet to make calls from Jamaica appear as if they originated inside the U.S. Victims were told they had won lotteries but had to send a fee first. The fees were sent to addresses in South Florida and then on to Jamaica.
Victims never got any winnings. At least $50,000 in fees were collected.
Court records Wednesday listed no attorney for Barnett.