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May 22, 2018

Jamaican Citizen Pleads Guilty for His Role in International Lottery Scheme

On April 11, 2018, in the Northern District of West Virginia, Zicko Peterkin pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud related to his role in an international lottery scheme.1 Peterkin and his coconspirator were indicted in September 2013, and Peterkin was later arrested in February 2018.2

According to the court documents, Peterkin and his coconspirator, who both were residents and citizens of Jamaica, conspired with each other and others to fraudulently obtain money from U.S. citizens through an international lottery scam.3

As part of their conspiracy, Peterkin and his coconspirators obtained the phone numbers and e-mail addresses of numerous U.S. citizens and then made unsolicited telephone calls or sent unsolicited e-mail messages to those individuals. In these communications, they falsely informed the victims that they had won a multimillion-dollar lottery prize and a new Mercedes Benz or BMW vehicle. Peterkin and his coconspirators advised the victims that they must pay taxes and processing fees prior to the release of the lottery prizes.4

In furtherance of the scheme, fraudulent documentation that purported to be official Government forms was sent to the victims and unlawfully portrayed the names and symbols of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), the Department of the Treasury, and the Federal Reserve Board. Some of these fraudulent documents also solicited personal identifying information such as address, e-mail address, phone number, and date of birth. Some victims received e-mail messages and telephone calls from an individual fraudulently impersonating the Commissioner of Internal Revenue, claiming to represent the IRS in facilitating the release and delivery of the lottery prizes. Additionally, Peterkin and his coconspirators e-mailed images of forged multimillion-dollar cashier's checks to victims, each showing the victim as the payee of the check.5

Peterkin could face a maximum penalty of 20 years' imprisonment.6

    1 N.D. W.Va. Plea Agr. filed Apr. 11, 2018.
    2 N.D. W.Va. Crim. Docket as of Apr. 19, 2018.
    3 N.D. W.Va. Indict. filed Sep. 4, 2013.
    4 Id.
    5 Id.
    6 N.D. W.Va. Plea Agr. filed Apr. 11, 2018.