North Carolina

North Carolina scam artist arrested

RALIEGH, N.C. - A Canadian man is facing more than six years in prison after pleading guilty to targeting the elderly in a sweepstakes scam.

U.S. Attorney Thomas G. Walker said 33-year-old Jamaal McKenzie was sentenced to 78 months in prison followed by three years supervised release. The court also ordered restitution of $840,705.

Federal authorities say McKenzie called elderly United States citizens and told them they had won a large prize in a sweepstakes or lottery. They said he then convinced the victims to send money in order to receive their prize. Victims were identified from a list that co-defendant Clayton Atkinson purchased from a Montreal business.

The investigation determined that at least 39 victims in various states, including North Carolina, had been defrauded and the defendants had fraudulently obtained the money.

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