Business
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
newvision

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.

RELATED ARTICLES

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 digital@newvision.co.ug

  • mail
  • img
blog comments powered by Disqus
Also In This Section
Fastjet launches new regional route
FASTJET Tanzania Airline has officially launched its newest flight between Kilimanjaro, Tanzania and Entebbe Airport...
Police impounds 80 tons of immature fish
POLICE in Arua together with the regional fisheries officers’ law enforcing officers impounded over 80 tons of immature smoked fish worth sh600m...
Skills development key in boosting informal sector
Building capacity through skills development is the only way to address the escalating poverty and unemployment levels, the Academic Registrar Management Training and Training Centre (MTAC) has disclosed....
How to grow onions
Onions can be grown in a wide range of climatic conditions; they are quite hardy and can tolerate temperatures as low as -6°c....
Uganda aims to promote tourism through sports
AFTER the land mark Kabale inaugural sports tourism proved successful, the East Africa Sports Tourism Initiative the organizers have announced that the event will be held annually...
How to grow water melon
The watermelon is a special kind of berry also known as Pepo from the cucurbitaceace family....
Should African countries expel South Africans?
Yes
No
Can't Say
follow us
subscribe to our news letter