DENVER (CBS4) — Leonard Luton, a Jamaican national from Brooklyn, New York, was sentenced Wednesday to 108 months in federal prison for his role in a lottery scheme that targeted an Estes Park woman.
In total, the woman was scammed out of more than $970,000, according to prosecutors.
U.S. District Court Judge Christine M. Arguello also ordered Luton to repay $881,477.41 and be placed on supervised release for three years upon completion of the prison sentence. A portion of the restitution was accounted for in an immediate forfeiture of more than $484,000.
The victim was convinced by Luton and another Jamaican national that she had won a $2.8 million lottery and a new car. They demanded she pay thousands of dollars in “fees” in order to receive her winnings.
According to a press release from the U.S. District Attorney’s Office in Denver, the woman was instructed to mail packages of cash, cashier’s checks, and cell phones to the addresses of Luton’s friends.
In October of 2018, Luton and his partner, Rajay Dobson, traveled to Estes Park. Dobson knocked on the woman’s front door at 1:30 a.m. and, using a fake badge, posed as FBI agent. He told her to hand over $65,000 in cash.
Luton himself returned the following January to pick up more cash. Agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), along with members of the Estes Park Police Department and Larimer County Sheriff’s Office, were waiting for him. The agents found Luton in possession of one of the cell phones the woman had purchased and delivered.
Luton was indicted the next month, then convicted by a jury in February of 2020 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and eight counts of aiding and abetting mail fraud.
“This sentence is a significant step toward justice for the elderly victim of Mr. Luton’s self-serving greed and deception. The FBI is committed to combating those who prey on vulnerable members of our community,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider.
The case against Dobson is still active, according to online court records.