US jails Israelis who used Ugandan banks in $8mn lotto fraud
Publish Date: Jul 15, 2014
US jails Israelis who used Ugandan banks in $8mn lotto fraud
  • mail
  • img

NEW YORK - A New York judge jailed two Israelis on Monday for orchestrating an elaborate international lottery scam that defrauded elderly Americans out of more than $8 million in life savings.

US district judge Loretta Preska sentenced Avi Ayache and Yaron Bar to 13 years and 12 years respectively after they pleaded guilty to four years of mail and wire fraud.

US prosecutors say the duo were ring leaders of a 12-person scam based in Israel, which tricked Americans into signing away more than $8 million, which was squirreled away illegally to bank accounts in Cyprus, Israel and Uganda.

Top New York federal prosecutor Preet Bharara said it was a "predatory group" that conned elderly people in the United States into believing they were lottery winners.

"Preying on their victims' dreams of financial comfort, Ayache and Bar bilked them out of substantial portions of their life savings," Bharara said in a statement.

"Now Ayache and Bar will spend a substantial portion of their lives in prison," he added.

From 2005 through 2009, the defendants called US residents who played sweepstake lotteries, reading from a script to falsely say they had won a large cash prize.

But to obtain the prize they were told to pay thousands, sometimes tens and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fees and taxes, totaling more than $8 million.

To pull the wool over their victims' eyes they invented the names of sham New York law firms, as well as aliases and call forwarding numbers to mask the fact that they were in Israel.

They even sent flowers and gift baskets to some of victims to "congratulate" them on their purported lottery winnings, a ploy to reel them in even further.

The judge also ordered Ayache and Bar to forfeit $8.2 million and pay restitution of $8.2 million.

Eleven of the 12 defendants were arrested in Israel in July 2009, then extradited to the United States.

The 12th was arrested at Newark International Airport in New Jersey as he attempted to board a flight for Israel.

All 12 have pleaded guilty, US attorneys said.

Seven defendants have already received lesser terms and three more are to be sentenced in weeks to come.


Police averts sh7b city bank fraud

Police arrest woman over Centenary Bank fraud

Electronic banking fraud taking root in Uganda

ATM fraud: Ruling for Bulgarians adjourned

The statements, comments, or opinions expressed through the use of New Vision Online are those of their respective authors, who are solely responsible for them, and do not necessarily represent the views held by the staff and management of New Vision Online.

New Vision Online reserves the right to moderate, publish or delete a post without warning or consultation with the author.Find out why we moderate comments. For any questions please contact

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Gov’t told review social protection policy
GOVERNMENT has been asked to review the Social Protection Policy to include vulnerable groups like the youth in agriculture production who lack financial support...
Second annual Social Media summit set for December
All is set for the annual Social Media Summit to be held next month on 3rd December, under the theme ‘Social Means Business’. The summit aims to identify, share, train and advance the use of social media in corporate, businesses, public and non-profit sectors....
Grain millers protest high electricity tariffs
GRAIN processors are demanding for a meeting with President Yoweri Museveni to help them secure their own tariff from the Electricity Regulatory Authority and UMEME...
Dollar holds euro gains but dips against emerging units
The dollar held its gains against the euro Tuesday as markets bet on a Federal Reserve rate hike next month, while emerging market currencies got a lift from optimism over the world's top economy....
Uchumi Supermarkets sued over 63m
A supply company has sued Uchumi Supermarkets over uncleared debt to the tune of sh63.4m. The firm, 7 Days International Limited, deals in sanitary products...
Insurers challenged to invest in micro-insurance
Ronald Zake, chairman Insurance Institute of Uganda (IIU) has challenged players in the industry to embrace micro-insurance to cater for small and medium size enterprise...
Is Uganda ready for the pope's visit?
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter