Last week, following three days of deliberation a North Dakota jury convicted Sanjay Williams, of Montego Bay, Jamaica of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering charges related to the infamous Jamaican lottery scam by which many Americans, most elderly have been scammed out of money after being told that they have won the non-existent Jamaican lottery. This particular case was four years in the making and started when an 86 year old North Dakota widow, Edna Schmeets lost her entire life’s savings of $300,000 to Jamaican scammers who telephoned her and told her that she had won a 19 million dollar Jamaican lottery, but that she needed to pay taxes and fees before she could claim her prize. Sentencing of Williams has been delayed to give Mr. Williams time to consider cooperating with investigators about others involved in return for a lesser sentence. Williams faces a maximum of forty years in prison
As I have often told you, it is difficult to win a lottery you have entered. It is impossible to win one that you have not even entered. You should always be skeptical about being told that you have won a lottery you never entered. It is also important to remember that it is illegal to play foreign lotteries unless you are present in the other country. While it is true that income taxes are owed on lottery winnings, legal lotteries never collect tax money from winners. They either deduct the taxes from the winnings or leave it up to the winners to pay their taxes directly to the IRS. You also should never pay a fee to collect a legal lottery prize.