NEW YORK – Prosecutors in New York have charged 10 residents of Israel with operating a lottery telemarketing fraud that cheated hundreds of elderly U.S. residents out of about $2 million.
Federal prosecutors said Friday that nine defendants are in custody and one is a fugitive. They called it the largest number of Israeli residents ever arrested in that country in anticipation of extradition.
The victims were told they had won large cash prizes in an international sweepstakes lottery. They then were charged hefty fees. Some paid tens of thousands of dollars.
The prizes, and the sweepstakes, did not exist.