Jamaican man sentenced to prison for Texas lottery/sweepstakes scam

The U.S. Attorney’s office of the Northern District of Texas announced this week that a Jamaican man living in the United States has been sentenced to six-and-a-half years in federal prison for scamming Texas residents.

Thirty-five year old Andre Hugh Saunders, also known as David Turner, was also ordered to pay $505,403 in restitution to his victims.

The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney John Parker. The U.S. Postal Inspection Service and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) investigated the case.

According to the news release, Saunders has been in custody since his arrest in October 2015 in New York on a criminal complaint. He lived in and/or operated the scam out of Jamaica, Florida and New York. Saunders is a citizen of Jamaica and a U.S. permanent resident.

U.S. District Judge Reed C. O’Connor granted Saunders’ 78-month sentence and followed his guilty plea in November 2015 to an indictment charging one count of mail fraud stemming from a lottery/sweepstakes scheme targeting elderly victims.

According to plea documents filed, from approximately November 2012 to July 2015, Saunders defrauded a Fort Worth resident by telling him that he had won a multi-million dollar prize in the “Las Vegas, Sidney, Australian Lottery and Sweepstakes.” Saunders told the resident that he had to pay multiple administrative fees and taxes before collecting the sweepstakes winnings. The Fort Worth resident believed Saunders’ claim that he had won a sweepstakes and started sending money that Saunders told him to send.

As a result of his fraudulent lottery/sweepstakes scam, Saunders received approximately $505,000 from elderly victims, including more than $300,000 from the Fort Worth victim.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Nichols, Northern District of Texas.