Four Americans hired a clandestine call center in Costa Rica to trick 57 senior citizens through fraudulent lotteries for the amount of $ 1.4 million.
The defendants accepted the charges against them and were sentenced to prison in mid-June by a federal court in Florida.
The investigation by the Federal District Attorney’s Office of the Middle District of Florida showed that one of the subjects traveled to Costa Rica, at least six times, to pay in cash the services of the contracted call center.
Scammers were identified as Audrey Montserrate (50), Benancio López (53), Richard Ellis (30) and Donald S. Sutliff (42).
How did they do it? The subjects hired the call center in Costa Rica to contact the victims in the US, who were led to believe that they had won a multi-million dollar lottery.
To cash the “prize”, the scammers claimed amounts concerning supposed pending taxes that were allegedly sent to US government officials. Once they got the money, they transferred it to accounts in at least four US banks.
After receiving the money in the bank accounts, the scammers sent the money to other accounts in Costa Rica.
Montserrat laundered $735,500, which represent fraud income from at least 18 victims. López got $486,747 from 11 victims. Ellis got $130,168 from 23 victims and Sutliff $18,503 from 5 victims,”
states the report.
Montserrat and López received a 30-month federal prison sentence, Ellis got 14 months and Sutliff must remain in prison for a year.
This is not the first this type of crime occurs in the United States with participation of dependencies in Costa Rica.