Jamaican found guilty of scamming millions from US national
A man accused of scamming a US national out of millions of dollars, was found guilty by the St. Catherine circuit court, on Monday.
Kemar Townsend has been convicted of, conspiracy to obtain money by false pretense, contrary to the law reform fraudulent transaction special provision act; as well as, engaging in a transaction. Involving criminal property, and possession of criminal property, contrary to the proceeds of crime act.
He is to be sentenced on June 17.
A statement from the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, said the complainant, a 72 year old american woman, testified that she was contacted and told about winning the lottery and that she had to send money to Jamaica, to claim her prize.
Between December 2017 and January 2018, the woman sent money, on 3 separate occasions, amounting to about US$45,000, to Townsends bank account in Jamaica.
Further reports are that Townsend received and used the money.
Following investigations by the Jamaica Constabulary Force, and the financial investigations division, in collaboration with the Nebraska police department and the Federal Bureau of Investigations in the USA, Townsend was arrested and charged, in 2018.
In his defense, Townsend claimed that he assumed that the money had been sent by his female companion in Switzerland, and that he was unaware of the money being sent by the complainant.
He however did not explain this notion of money being sent by his companion to investigators.
He also stated that since his arrest he has not communicated with his companion.
Following a 2 week trial, the jury convicted Townsend in relation to lottery scamming and money laundering related offences.
The trial was presided over by justice Bertram Morrison.
The director of public prosecutions noted that the guilty verdict in this case is historic, because it’s the first time the office has a trial on one indictment before a jury, in respect of the 3 count offences, at the same time.
Usually, offences under the law reform fraudulent transaction special provision act, commonly referred to as ‘lottery scamming’ are tried by judge alone, in the circuit court, while offences under the proceeds of crime act are tried by a judge alone in the parish court.