US Attorney – SEVEN DEFENDANTS CHARGED IN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR LOTTERY TELEMARKETING FRAUD SCHEME PLEAD GUILTY

United States Attorney
Southern District of New York

Residents Of Israel Stole $2 Million From Elderly Victims
In The United States

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced the guilty pleas of
seven individuals, all residents of Israel, for their
participation in a lottery telemarketing fraud scheme through
which they stole approximately $2 million from elderly victims in
the United States between 2007 and September 2008.
LIOR ORGAD, DAVID YAMIN, and MOR GALANTI pled guilty
today before Magistrate Judge JAMES C. FRANCIS IV. GUY MAYO,
ELAD MAYO, ASI ALMAKIAS, and YANIV KALBERS pled guilty before
Magistrate Judge ANDREW J. PECK on March 15, 2011.
Manhattan U.S. Attorney PREET BHARARA stated: “These
defendants bet that they would strike it rich by preying upon
some of America’s most vulnerable citizens — the elderly — but
they gambled and lost. We will continue working with all of our
national and international law enforcement partners to protect
Americans from fraudsters wherever they reside.”
According to Indictments and an Information previously
filed in Manhattan federal court:
The defendants participated in a phoney “lottery prize”
scheme that targeted hundreds of victims, mostly elderly,
throughout the United States. The defendants identified victims
by purchasing the names and contact information of U.S. residents
who subscribed to sweepstakes lotteries from list brokers. They
then contacted the victims and solicited information about their
finances by falsely telling them that they had won a substantial
cash prize and that they would receive it as soon as they paid
the necessary fees and taxes. In reality, there was no lottery
prize and the victims were collectively robbed of approximately
$2 million.
* * *
All seven defendants were provisionally arrested in
Israel in September 2008 based on the Indictments. In November
2010, they were extradited from Israel into the United States.
SHAI KADOSH, who is also charged in the scheme, is currently a
fugitive.
GUY MAYO, ELAD MAYO, ASI ALMAKIAS, and LIOR ORGAD face
a total maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and YANIV KALBERS,
DAVID YAMIN and MOR GALANTI face a total maximum penalty of five
years in prison. In connection with their guilty pleas, these
defendants each agreed to forfeit a sum of money equal to
approximately $1.9 million.
All seven defendants will be sentenced on June 27, 2011
at 2:00 p.m. by United States District Judge LEWIS A. KAPLAN.
* * *
The investigation into the lottery telemarketing fraud
scheme was conducted in New York by the FBI, with assistance from
the Israel National Police. Mr. BHARARA praised the
investigative work of the FBI and the Tel Aviv Fraud Division of
the Israel National Police. He also thanked the Office of
International Affairs of the United States Department of
Justice’s Criminal Division; the Department of International
Affairs within the Office of the State Attorney in the Ministry
of Justice for the State of Israel; and the Tel Aviv District
Attorney’s Office, for their cooperation in the investigation.
This case is being prosecuted by the Office’s Organized
Crime Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorneys AVI WEITZMAN and STEVE C.
LEE are in charge of the prosecution. Assistant U.S. Attorney
MICHAEL LOCKARD is in charge of the forfeiture aspects of the
case.
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