GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — A Maryland man has been sentenced to eight years in federal prison for running a fake lottery scheme that scammed more than 100 elderly people out of more than $775,000.
Keno Romario Brown, 26, of Hyattsville, was sentenced Thursday after being convicted in March of conspiracy, wire fraud and mail fraud.
Prosecutors said Brown defrauded his victims by falsely telling them they had won a lottery or sweepstakes and demanding taxes or other fees before the victims could receive their prizes.
The judge ordered him to pay restitution of $775,225.48.
Prosecutors said Brown and two coconspirators began contacting victims in April 2013, telling them to send the advance fees and taxes to "runners" who received the money then turned it over to Brown and his coconspirators. Trial evidence indicated that Brown used physical abuse to control at least one of the runners.
Prosecutors also said Brown laundered the proceeds by obtaining debit cards using personal information of elderly individuals without their knowledge or consent and depositing the fraud proceeds onto those debit cards.
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