LAS VEGAS (KXNT) – If you’re not careful, it can be fairly easy to become a victim of a telemarketing scam.
A Las Vegas man was sentenced Tuesday to 88 months in prison for targeting the elderly as part of a sophisticated telemarketing scam that resulted in the loss of nearly $1.2 million.
43 year old Willie James Montgomery, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire or mail fraud.
According to the plea agreement, from November 24, 2008 to September 5, 2013, Montgomery admitted that he conspired with other to obtain “lead sheets.” A lead sheet identifies people who had previously entered sweepstakes, lotteries, or other prize-drawing contest, and so they’re susceptible to misrepresentations regarding potentially winning a prize, sweepstakes or lottery. Montgomery and others falsley portrayed themselves as being an official of a lottery or sweepstakes committee or an official of the IRS and told the victims that they had won a prize or lottery, and, in order to get their prize, they must first send payments in the form of checks, money orders, wire transfers, or cash.
Montgomery knew that the victims had not won a prize or lottery and instead kept these advance payments for his own purposes. In order to conceal the scheme, Montgomery and others would direct the victims to send the money to people referred to as “runners,” or people who would receive the money wires, cash checks or money orders and then proved the criminal proceeds to Montgomery and his other co-conspirators.
Montgomery also admitted that he and his co-conspirators made calls to at least 66 victims in at least 22 states. Through this scheme, he and his co-conspirators were able to get at least 56 MoneyGram wire transfers, totatling about $96,983, and 181 Western Union money wires, totaling at least $366, 238.
In total the scheme caused losses to the victims in the amount of about $1.2 million.