International Lottery Fraud
You received an official-looking email or letter in the mail. Or maybe a legitimate-sounding phone call. “Congratulations! You’ve just won the Spanish National Lottery! You may receive a certified check for up to $400,000,000 U.S.D.”
To claim your prize . . . just send cash to cover necessary expenses.
Sounds great, right? It isn’t.
It’s a fraud – a twist on the Nigerian (“419”) letter fraud scam. A persuasive con, it cheats thousands of people of hard-earned savings yearly. The scammers – often based in Canada or Europe, or working in the U.S. until “the job” is done – use telemarketing and direct mail fraud schemes to entice consumers to buy into high-stakes foreign lotteries. Frequently, personal financial information is solicited. An estimated $120 million is lost each year in the U.S. alone.
Playing any foreign lottery violates U.S. federal law. The law prohibits the international cross-border sale or purchase of lottery tickets by any means. And the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) – the U.S.’s consumer protection agency – says virtually of these foreign lottery promotions are phony. Still, millionaire wannabes take the bait . . . and get hooked.
Federal law enforcement authorities – such as the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service – intercept and destroy millions of foreign lottery mailings sent, or delivered by the truckload, into the U.S. (a number perhaps double that, if one adds in the phone and email solicitations which go uncounted). Overseas, organizations such as INTERPOL and the Spanish National Police (SNP), partnering with U.S. agencies, are doing likewise. It is a 21st Century policing concept.
For those charged with lottery fraud violations, penalties in the U.S. can be severe – imprisonment, forfeiture, heavy fines, restitution. In several recent cases defendants have received maximum penalties of 30 years in prison because mail or wire fraud took place. Government crack-downs have also yielded equally harsh sentences for money laundering – a maximum of 20 years. (And if the victims prove to be over 55, further penalties can be enforced.)
Given the U.S. government’s stern no-nonsense position – and if you need a law firm specializing in Federal Criminal Defense – The Blanch Law Firm may be your answer.
The Blanch Law Firm believes the government, through its agencies, presents only half the story.
This government prosecution is often heavy-handed – a prosecution that may involve circumstantial or misleading evidence – even false accusations. The emotional upheaval can be devastating.
The Blanch Law Firm is staffed with experienced international criminal defense lawyers who are dedicated to swiftly investigating the circumstances and to fully understanding our client. Our firm wants to know the whole story.
Our firm is well-prepared for the confusing, difficult area of Lottery Fraud. We handle cases in the greater New York area, as well as in Los Angeles, Orange County, greater Southern California, Houston, TX, as well as overseas extradition.
If you are the focus of Lottery Fraud criminal investigation – or if an investigation is pending – contact The Blanch Law Firm today by calling 212 736 3900. Initial consultations are complimentary and confidential.