CASE UPDATE: Jamaican Lottery Scam Ringleader Charged with Felonies for Bilking Seniors in PA and USA
Ringleader’s arrest follows 2017 charges by Attorney General Shapiro against a Pittsburgh Money Mule in the Jamaican Lottery
HARRISBURG — Attorney General Josh Shapiro today announced the arrest of a Jamaican man believed to be a ringleader in the Jamaican Lottery Scam. The victims of this scam thought they were paying taxes on their winnings in the lottery – their money was actually being routed to scam artists in Jamaica.
Kristoff Cain, 22, has been charged with corrupt organizations, theft by deception and other felony crimes. Agents from the Office of Attorney General’s Organized Crime Section, working with local and federal partners, identified Cain as a ringleader after last year’s arrest of Audrey Huff. Huff, a Pittsburgh woman who was serving as a mule in the Jamaican Lottery Scam, wired more than $295,000 in funds stolen from Pennsylvanians and Americans to scammers in Jamaica, including Cain.
“Kristoff Cain is in custody thanks to very strong law enforcement collaboration with our federal and state partners,” Attorney General Shapiro said. “I want to specifically thank Homeland Security, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Postal Inspectors, the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office, Pittsburgh Police, Harrison, NY police and Mt. Pleasant, S.C. police for their assistance in this investigation. Because of our cooperation, a ringleader in a lottery scam that has stolen hundreds of thousands of dollars from seniors across our Commonwealth and the country is under arrest.”
Cain was arrested in Florida after federal Homeland Security agents learned he was in the United States. He is currently in Allegheny County Prison, awaiting a preliminary hearing on May 23. Cain was named as a ringleader by Donovan Wallace, an accomplice who pleaded guilty previously for his involvement in Cain’s lottery scam.
The Jamaican Lottery Scam can take different forms. In one version, victims are told they’ve won the lottery and must send “taxes” to collect their winnings. In another version, scam artists are known to impersonate FBI agents to deceive victims into sending money. In another scam, criminals claim they’re IRS agents and the victims owe back taxes to the IRS.
“This investigation is active and ongoing,” Attorney General Josh Shapiro said. “If you know of a senior or family member who’s been scammed, let us know. And if you’re called by a “Jamaican lottery agent” or “IRS agent” or “FBI agent” hang up the phone. They are all scams. Call us and we’ll go after these criminals wherever we find them.”
People with tips can call investigators at 412-565-7680 or go online at www.attorneygeneral.gov. Cain will be prosecuted by Senior Deputy Attorney General Katherine Wymard of the office’s Organized Crime Section.
# # #