A Connecticut man who took part in a massive scheme defrauding elderly victims out of millions of dollars is heading to federal prison.
Stanley Pierre, age 35, of Bridgeport was sentenced to 2 ½ years behind bars Wednesday, Aug. 3 in federal court in Bridgeport after pleading guilty to one count of money laundering.
Federal prosecutors said Pierre and several others bilked 200 elderly victims across the country out of more than $5 million through bogus lottery and romance scams carried out between August 2015 and March 2020.
Some unsuspecting victims were duped into sending money after the group contacted them - either by telephone, mail, or online - and informed them that they had won the lottery, prosecutors said.
Victims were then told that in order to collect their winnings they must pay fees for things like taxes, shipping, and processing.
Prosecutors said the group also tricked their victims by preying on their desire for companionship, pretending to be romantically interested and then claiming they needed money for things like medical or travel expenses.
Victims sent cash, money orders, or checks through the mail to various Connecticut addresses, prosecutors said.
They also wired or deposited money into bank accounts in the state controlled by the defendants.
According to investigators, Pierre used his personal bank accounts and also set up business accounts to launder money for the group, two of whom were identified by prosecutors as Farouq Fasasi and Rodney Thomas, Jr.
Fasasi, Thomas, and other co-conspirators lived together at a home on Sherman Avenue in New Haven, where packages containing cash, checks and money orders from victims were often delivered.
Prosecutors said Pierre also recruited others to help launder proceeds from the scheme.
Many of the victims were elderly and vulnerable, with some losing their life savings, prosecutors said. One Connecticut victim lost more than $1 million.
In February 2022, Fasasi, Thomas, and Ralph Pierre were found guilty of multiple charges related to the scheme.
Ralph Pierre was sentenced to 36 months in prison in June 2022, while Fasasi and Thomas are still awaiting sentencing.
Stanley Pierre was released on a $100,000 bond and must report to prison on Wednesday, Sept. 21.
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