Two people have pleaded guilty to an international telemarketing fraud scheme that defrauded many elderly and vulnerable victims in the United States out of more than $9 million.
According to court documents, Maurice Levy, 51, and Derrick Levy, 54, both Jamaican, admitted that between July 2008 and September 2016 they worked in call centers in Costa Rica that defrauded victims in the States. -United. Derrick Levy and Maurice Levy admitted to concealing their physical location using Voice-over-IP technology, which allowed them to give victims phone numbers which, although bearing US area codes, actually answered in call centers in Costa Rica. Maurice Levy and Derrick Levy further admitted that they called people in the United States, many of whom were elderly and vulnerable, and falsely claimed that the people had won a raffle prize but had to pay a fee before the handover. price. In truth, such a prize did not exist. Once a victim had made an initial payment for the alleged fees, Maurice Levy, Derrick Levy and their co-conspirators continued to call the victim, falsely claiming that a mistake had been made and that the victim had in fact won a prize of a greater prize. amount, or a problem had arisen, and the victim had to pay an additional fee to claim the prize. Many victims sent tens of thousands of dollars to Maurice Levy, Derrick Levy and their accomplices in response to these calls. During the scheme, Derrick Levy and Maurice Levy fraudulently obtained over $9,400,000 from the victims, which was used to continue operating the call centers and for the personal benefit of the co-conspirators.
Maurice Levy pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and will be sentenced at a later date. Derrick Levy pleaded guilty on January 25 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and will be sentenced on September 28. They each face at least up to 20 years in prison. A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering US sentencing guidelines and other statutory factors.
Assistant Attorney General Kenneth A. Polite, Jr. of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division; US Attorney Dena J. King of the US Attorney’s Office for the Western District of North Carolina; Inspector in Charge Tommy Coke of the Atlanta Division of the United States Postal Inspection Service; Special Agent in Charge Donald “Trey” Eakins of the Charlotte Field Office of the IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); and Special Agent in Charge Robert R. Wells of the FBI Field Office in Charlotte made the announcement.
This case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service, IRS-CI and the FBI, with assistance from the Federal Trade Commission, Homeland Security Investigations and the United States Department of State Diplomatic Security Service. The International Affairs Office of the Ministry of Justice and the Costa Rican authorities also provided assistance.
Trial Attorney Jason M. Covert of the Criminal Division’s Fraud Section is prosecuting the case.
The Fraud Section uses the Victim Notification System (VNS) to provide victims with case information and updates related to this case. Victims with questions can contact the Victim Assistance Unit in the Fraud Section by calling the Victim Assistance Hotline at 1-888-549-3945 or emailing victimassistance.fraud @usdoj.gov. To learn more about victims’ rights, please visit: https://www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/victim-rights-derechos-de-las-v-ctimas. If you believe you may be a victim of the conduct described in the plea agreements and information, please visit https://www.justice.gov/criminal-vns/case/united-states-v-levy-et-al.