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Seven Charged In Lottery Scam

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A recent investigation of an Venezuelan-American financier found that a Connecticut hedge-fund advisor helped carry out a $500 million fraud scheme. (credit: TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/Getty Images)

A recent investigation of an Venezuelan-American financier found that a Connecticut hedge-fund advisor helped carry out a $500 million fraud scheme. (credit: TENGKU BAHAR/AFP/Getty Images)

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) _ Police have arrested seven people in a Connecticut-based lottery scam that preyed on elderly victims around the United States.

Stamford police say the scam was based in Fairfield County and transferred the proceeds to Costa Rica.

Investigators say they have documented more than $165,000 in losses. Thirty-one victims from across the U.S. have been identified, and most of them are above the age of 80.

The victims were contacted by telephone or a letter and told they had won a prize. In order to collect the supposed winnings, they were directed to send money to pay taxes or fees.

A total of nine arrest warrants were issued, including one for the suspected ringleader. Police say that person is at large and may be in Costa Rica.

(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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