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After conning over $1 million from just a single victim, the leader of the Jamaican scam artists was sentenced to almost six years in prison on Friday.
Like any other scammer, Stieve Fernandez, 35, has spent time fooling vulnerable individuals and robbing elderly targets of their life savings as part of a whole group of lottery fraudsters.
Fernandes's duty was to bring the leads, which would comprise the names and telephone numbers of people potential to be able to be scammed. He would contact the people on the list and try to convince them that they had won a huge jackpot in a foreign lottery. And to collect the prize, they are instructed to pay upfront fake fees disguised as taxes, insurance, handling charges, and various other expenses.
Performing such deeds had made him steal over $1.2 million from a single victim. The elderly victim, who resides in Mystic, Connecticut, and whose identity remains anonymous was first contacted by Fernandez in 2015. Since then and in 2018, Fernandez gave the unsuspecting man instructions with an American accent and under various pseudonyms, such as "Damian Jackson," "Huckleberry Finn," and "Jesse Jackson." The victim blindly followed the scammer’s instructions by sending him and his accomplices over a million dollars via postal money orders and investment account transfers. Things got as far as to buy and transfer gold and silver bars worth hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Fernandez used all this stolen money to buy a house in Jamaica and a scenic vineyard in Argentina. But that was just a single fraud we talked about. According to the prosecutors, Fernandez carried out similar lottery scams against four other elderly individuals and had successfully swindled $684,500 from them and had attempted to steal an additional $222,000. The scamster is also suspected of working with a girlfriend living in Canada, a cousin residing in Florida, and two other associates.
In February this year, Fernandez pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. And was sentenced to 71 months in prison and was ordered to pay $1,196,207 in restitution. So it is important to be aware of who you are venting out your personal details and money because there are people like Fernandez waiting out for you to scam.
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