(CBS4) — A jury convicted a Jamaican national living in Brooklyn, New York, of taking almost three-quarters of a million dollars from an Estes Park woman whom he convinced had won a lottery.
Federal prosecutors alleged that Leonard Luton, 43, and another Jamaican national led the victim into believing she had won a $2.8 million lottery and a Mercedes Benz vehicle, but instructed her to pay thousands of dollars in fees in order to receive her winnings.
Luton and his colleague directed the woman to mail multiple packages containing cash, cashier’s checks, and even cell phones throughout 2018. The packages were mailed to addresses of Luton’s friends.
Luton also made two trips to Estes Park to obtain cash as well, according to evidence present at the trial.
In October of 2018, Luton knocked on the woman’s door at 1:30 a.m., identified himself as an FBI agent, presented a fake FBI badge, and demanded she hand over a package containing $65,000 in cash.
Luton was arrested in January 2019 while making his second visit to the woman’s residence. At the time, he was in possession of a cell phone she had purchased and sent to him.
The federal court jury took four days in mid-February to decide Luton was guilty of nine charges — one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and eight counts of aiding and abetting mail fraud.
“Lottery scams are just one way that scammers prey on vulnerable victims,” said United States Attorney Jason Dunn. “Together with our law enforcement partners, we are working to protect the elderly and bring scammers to justice.”
Luton is scheduled to be sentenced May 12.
The case was investigated jointly by the FBI and the Estes Park Police Department with assistance from the Larimer County District Attorney’s Office.