BISMARCK, N.D. – An elderly woman from North Dakota who was identified by investigators as the first victim in a Jamaican lottery scam says she lost $300,000 and cashed in her insurance policy.
Sanjay Williams is one of 32 defendants charged in a global case that allegedly involves at least 72 victims, most of them elderly. Several defendants have pleaded and others are awaiting extradition from Jamaica. Williams is the first person to go to trial.
Eighty-six-year-old Edna Schmeetz of Harvey, North Dakota, testified Monday that scammers told her not to tell anybody about the lottery until she collected her prize. She says she planned to give the money to her children.
Defense attorney Charlie Stock told jurors it's difficult to believe witnesses because a lot of them used fake names and IDs.