HARTFORD MAN CHARGED WITH STEALING THOUSANDS IN LOTTERY SCAM
(Hartford) - A
Hartford man turned himself in to Hartford Police on Monday, June 25, 2012, and
was arraigned today in Hartford Superior Court on charges relating to his defrauding numerous elderly
and vulnerable victims of thousands of dollars through a fraudulent lottery
JASON SMITH, age 27, of 225 Newbury St., Hartford, was charged with two counts of Racketeering in violation of the Corrupt Organization and Racketeering Act (CORA), three counts of Larceny in the First Degree, seven counts of Larceny in the Second Degree, one count of Attempted Larceny in the First Degree, and Conspiracy to commit Larceny in the First Degree as a result of an investigation conducted by the Major Crimes Division of the Hartford Police Department.
The case was
investigated by the Major Crimes Division of the Hartford Police Department
and is being prosecuted by the Financial Crimes Bureau in the Office of the
Chief State’s Attorney.
on the investigation, Mayor Pedro E. Segarra praised the collaboration
between the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and the Hartford Police
Department’s Major Crimes Division, saying “It is multi-agency law
enforcement collaboration, as exhibited in this investigation, that ensures
those responsible for the victimization of others are brought to justice and
held accountable for their actions. I extend my appreciation and
congratulations to both the Office of the Chief State’s Attorney and
investigators of the HPD’s Major Crimes Division on a job well done.”
Police Chief James C. Rovella echoed Mayor’s Segarra’s sentiments and praise of the work conducted by the Office of the Chief’s State’s Attorney and the HPD’s Major Crimes Division, “Let the results of this investigation be a message to internet fraud predators that they will be caught and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
the arrest warrant affidavit, the investigation was initiated on a referral
from a Police Detective in Altamonte Springs, FL regarding a victim of the
lottery scam residing there. According to the warrant the
victims were informed in writing or by phone that they had won Publishers
Clearing House Sweepstakes or another lottery. The victims were then
directed to send money for prepayment of fees and/or taxes by wire or
Express Mail in order to collect their “winnings.” Mr. Smith would
allegedly receive those funds, keep a portion for himself and forward the
rest to another member of the conspiracy. Mr. Smith also recruited
others to assist him in collecting the victims’ funds, allowing him to
collect over $100,000 from the elderly and vulnerable victims.
Mr. Smith was taken into custody on Monday, June 25th, 2012 on a $ 200,000 bond and was arraigned today, Tuesday, June 26, 2012, in Hartford Superior Court.
Each count of Racketeering is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $25,000 fine. The three counts of Larceny in the First Degree, Attempted Larceny in the First Degree, and Conspiracy to commit Larceny in the First Degree are each punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $15,000 fine. Each count of Larceny in the Second Degree is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.
The charges against Mr. Smith are merely allegations and he is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.