Several elderly victims lost at least $675,000 to a crew of scammers who told them that they’d won the lottery, federal authorities said.
The vulnerable victims “received telephone calls alerting them that they had won large sums of money and various other prizes,” U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said Monday. “The victims were informed that they would have to pay taxes on these winnings.”
The victims, in turn, sent $675,000 in checks to Shanile Lyle, 27, of Orange, and a group of conspirators, he said.
“Lyle deposited these funds into back accounts she controlled and transferred portions of the money to her conspirators,” Carpenito said.
FBI agents arrested Lyle on Monday and charged her with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, he said. U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael A. Hammer in Newark released her hours later on $200,000 unsecured bond during a video-conferenced hearing.
Carpenito credited special agents of the FBI with the investigation leading to the charges. Assistant U.S. Attorney Vera Varshavsky of his Cybercrimes Unit in Newark is handling the case.
“Elder abuse is a serious crime against some of our nation’s most vulnerable citizens,” Carpenito noted.
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