Money Laundering Over $300,000 Contest Scam

HARRISBURG, DOLPHIN COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The United States Attorney’s Office announced that two people have been indicted by a federal grand jury on charges of money laundering conspiracy after receiving funds from a sweepstakes scam.

According to U.S. Attorney John C. Gurganus, the indictment alleges 27-year-old Troy Smith and 36-year-old Michelle Greenwood of Mississippi committed wire and mail fraud between August 2016 and June 2018.

Investigators say the suspects received consumer fraud-induced MoneyGram, Western Union and Ria money transfers, wire transfers and deposits, checks and cash from victims across the United States for a total of over $300,000.

According to the release, one victim included a 51-year-old widow from Columbia County. In October 2016, the victim received a call from someone posing as an official of a lottery organization. She was told she had won a multi-million dollar cash prize and a car, officials said.

The court document said the victim was ordered to send money to the defendants. She ended up sending about $123,000. Smith and Greenwood received the funds from the victim and sent some of those funds to various co-conspirators in Jamaica.

Smith and Greenwood face 18 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering conspiracy. If convicted, both men face up to 20 years in prison.

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