It was recently announced that four defendants have been extradited from Israel on charges relating to their participation in multiple lottery telemarketing fraud schemes. The schemes targeted elderly victims in the United States and netted millions of dollars in profits.
In July of 2009 three of the extradited defendants, Avi Ayache, Yaron Bar, and Ian Kaye, were arrested in Israel and indicted with eight others in the case U.S. v Avi Ayache et al. Shai Kadosh, the other extradited defendant was indicted with nine others in September of 2008 in the case U.S. v Guy Mayo et al., and has been a fugitive until December of 2011 and his arrest in Israel.
The four men were all residents of Israel and arrested in December of 2011.
According to the indictments and other court documents showed that the four men and their co-conspirators allegedly operated phony “lottery prize” schemes out of numerous boiler rooms in Israel.
The schemes targeted hundreds of victims, mostly elderly, throughout the United States. To identify potential victims, the defendants purchased from list brokers the names and contact information of U.S. residents who subscribed to sweepstakes lotteries. They then contacted the victims and solicited information about their finances by falsely telling them they had won a substantial cash prize that they would receive as soon as they paid the necessary fees and taxes. In reality, there was no lottery prize. Collectively, the American victims in these lottery fraud schemes lost approximately $25 million.
The men are each charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud through telemarketing which could potentially land them 30 years in prison.
“From thousands of miles away, these defendants, along with their co-conspirators, allegedly preyed upon some of the most vulnerable, elderly victims. Their appearances in court today should make clear that we will reach out as far as necessary, and persist as long as it takes, to bring foreign defendants before the bar of American justice” says U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara – Source.
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