An Atlanta man is facing a federal charge after he allegedly took part in an illegal lottery scheme that targeted elderly people throughout the United States.
Peter Anthony Chin Jr., 34, was arrested in Atlanta on Feb. 22 after being indicted, according to the U.S. attorney’s office in Massachusetts. He’s charged with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.
The illegal lottery operation ran from 2012 to 2017, according to the indictment.
MORE: Atlanta crime news
Victims were told via phone, email and mail they had won millions of dollars in a lottery, but they had to pay taxes on the so-called winnings before they could get their money, federal officials said.
Chin’s accomplices allegedly told victims to mail or wire their money to Chin or his associates. Chin kept some of the money and distributed what was left as directed by his associates, officials said.
“Significant amounts” of the money were sent to Jamaica, prosecutors said.
On Oct. 7, 2015, a Pennsylvania resident mailed a $34,900 cashier’s check for the purported taxes and fees to Chin in Fairburn, his address at the time. Two days later, the cashier’s check was deposited into Chin’s checking account, officials said.
If he’s convicted, Chin could be sentenced to a maximum of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gain or loss, whichever is greater.
Know what’s really going on with crime and public safety in your metro Atlanta community, including breaking news, trial coverage, trends and the latest on unsolved cases. Sign up for the AJC’s crime and safety newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox.
In other news:
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.