Jamaican National Sentenced for $970k Lottery Scam of Estes Park Woman

hands over a laptop
A Jamaican national scammed an elderly woman from northern Colorado out of nearly $100,000 by claiming she needed to pay him fees for winning over $2 million from a fake lottery. / Unsplash

Leonard Luton, a Jamaican national from Brooklyn, was sentenced to 108 months in federal prison, followed by three years of supervised release and over $881,000 in restitution for his role in a lottery scheme targeting an elderly woman from Estes Park.

Citing court documents, the U.S. Department of Justice announced Thursday that Luton and another Jamaican national conspired to convince an elderly victim that she’d won a $2.8 million dollar lottery and Mercedes Benz, but needed to pay thousands of dollars of “fees” in order to obtain her winnings. The scam included the victim being instructed to mail packages of cash and cashier’s checks, and six iPhones, to the addresses of Luton’s friends.

Luton even made trips to the victim’s home in Estes Park to pick up packages of cash twice, according to the release. During the first trip in 2018, one of Luton’s co-conspirators went to the victim’s door and identified himself as an FBI agent, complete with a fake FBI badge, and directed her to hand over a package containing approximately $65,000 in cash. On the second trip in 2019, Luton was arrested at the victim’s residence when he arrived to pick up more cash and was found to be in possession of one of the iPhones purchased by the victim.

In total, the victim was scammed out of more than $970,000, according to the release.

Luton was convicted for one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and eight counts of aiding and abetting mail fraud, the release states. The court further entered an order of forfeiture in the amount of $484,123.16 and imposed a special assessment fee costing $900.

The case was investigated jointly by the FBI, Estes Park Police Department and with assistance from the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Martha Paluch and Sara Weiss prosecuted the case.


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