A Los Angeles man involved with a lottery scam that targeted elderly victims, including a Glendale woman, pleaded guilty to wire and mail fraud charges in federal court on Monday.
Carl Bullock, 65, of Los Angeles, admitted to his participation in a scam that informed victims by phone and mail that they had won lottery prizes. In some instances, a fake Publishers Clearing House sweepstakes letter was used.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the people who were targeted were told they had to pay a fee or tax in order to collect their prize.
Bullock's involvement came to light in 2014 after the Glendale Police Department was informed by a local bank employee that an 83-year-old woman had made several large withdrawals from her bank account.
Tahnee Lightfoot, a spokeswoman for the Glendale Police Department, said at the time that the woman first received a call in March 2014 from a man calling himself Christopher Jones who told her that she had won $7 million in a lottery. However, in order to receive the winnings, the woman would have to send $6,000 to Jones.
Detectives then discovered the woman was scammed out of $52,000 over the course of several weeks. Jones convinced the woman to buy prepaid money cards, and Bullock even came to her home on several occasions to collect cash, according to police.
Bullock was subsequently arrested at his home in April 2014 and was eventually turned over to federal authorities.
The Department of Justice said in 2016 that at least 25 people were reportedly scammed out of nearly $200,000 by Bullock and others involved in the scam. Bullock personally received at least $45,000 that he then distributed to his accomplices — most of whom live in Jamaica.
Bullock is scheduled to be sentenced on April 17. The two charges each carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison.
Andy Nguyen, firstname.lastname@example.org