Damone D. Oakley, a resident of St. James, Jamaica, was extradited to the United States for his participation in a bogus raffle scheme that targeted elderly victims in the United States.
Oakley, 40, of Point District in the Parish, was charged with mail and wire fraud in a 16-count indictment. He made his first appearance in federal court in Scranton, Pennsylvania on July 12.
The indictment was filed in the U.S. District Court for the Intermediate District of Pennsylvania in June 2021 and was unsealed after the defendant was extradited to the United States.
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According to the indictment, Oakley sought to enrich himself unlawfully through a fraudulent lottery scheme targeting senior citizens.
Across the United States, victims received letters, text messages or phone calls telling them they had won millions of dollars and luxury vehicles in a raffle, but that they first had to pay taxes and fees to claim their winnings.
The indictment alleges that Oakley, using a variety of names, including “Officer Alex Logan” and “Officer Stan Valentine”, told his victims how to send their money (and to whom the funds must be sent), including through the use of wire transfers, direct bank deposits, the U.S. Postal Service, and private commercial mail carriers. The victims were asked to send money directly to Oakley as well as people in the United States and elsewhere who acted as intermediaries and passed the money on to Oakley.
In addition to sending cash or wire transfers, the indictment alleges the victims were instructed to purchase electronics, jewelry and clothing and then ship them to mail forwarding services in Florida. . The victims never received any “earnings”.
“This is the first extradition requested by the United States under the rules of evidence contained in Jamaica’s recently revised Extradition Act, and we are encouraged by the streamlined extradition process that has led to the appearance of accused in federal court to deal with these charges,” said Senior Assistant Deputy Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, chief of the Justice Department’s Civil Division.
“Con artists like these target the most vulnerable people in our society,” said U.S. Attorney Gerard M. Karam for the Central District of Pennsylvania.
“In the Middle District of Pennsylvania, we are proud to prioritize and prosecute those who engage in such acts and we commend our law enforcement partners who help make these results possible.”
Oakley is among dozens of Jamaicans who have been arrested and charged with senior citizen scams in the United States since the start of this year. Just last week, five Jamaicans were extradited to the United States over allegations of lottery scams and other serious offences.
Locally, fraud offenses topped the list of cases in several parish courts, namely St James, Westmoreland and Hanover.
National Security Minister Dr Horace Chang said proceeds from the lottery scam, money laundering, cybercrime, and drug and gun trafficking are said to have caused an annual flow at least US$1 billion to Jamaica.