Caribbean News Now!

About Us Contact Us


Jump to your country or territory of interest

Advertise with us

Reach our daily visitors from around the Caribbean and throughout the world. Click here for rates and placements.


Submit news and opinion for publication


Click here to receive our daily regional news headlines by email.


Click here to browse our extensive archives going back to 2004

Also, for the convenience of our readers and the online community generally, we have reproduced the complete Caribbean Net News archives from 2004 to 2010 here.

Climate Change Watch

The Caribbean is especially vulnerable to rising sea levels brought about by global warming. Read the latest news and information here...

Follow Caribbean News Now on Twitter
Connect with Caribbean News Now on Linkedin

News from the Caribbean:

Back To Today's News

Woman indicted for impersonating FBI agent in Jamaica lottery fraud scheme
Published on March 7, 2016 Email To Friend    Print Version

SAVANNAH, USA -- A federal grand jury in the Southern District of Georgia has indicted a woman for impersonating an FBI special agent in connection with an international lottery fraud scheme based in Jamaica.

Vania Lee Allen, 30, was charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and falsely impersonating an employee of the United States, one count of wire fraud and one count of falsely impersonating an employee of the United States.

According to the indictment, Allen and a co-conspirator in Jamaica sought to unlawfully enrich themselves through a fraudulent lottery scheme targeting an elderly resident of Evans, Georgia. Allen’s co-conspirator falsely informed the victim by phone that the victim had won money in a lottery and instructed the victim to make payments to various people in order to collect the purported lottery winnings.

As alleged in the indictment, in order to gain the trust of the victim and induce him to continue to make payments, Allen traveled from Jamaica to the United States and falsely portrayed herself to the victim as an FBI agent.

“Fraud schemes operating from other countries and targeting Americans often cannot fully succeed without assistance from a co-conspirator in the United States,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Benjamin C. Mizer, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “Scammers use many different tactics in an effort to gain the trust of their victims. The Justice Department will actively pursue and charge those who participate in such criminal activity.”

“The US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Georgia is committed to vigorously prosecuting fraud schemes of all kinds,” said US Attorney Edward J. Tarver of the Southern District of Georgia. “Those who perpetrate scams upon the vulnerable should know that federal law enforcement will work tirelessly to shut down fraud schemes and prosecute those responsible.”

According to the indictment, Allen traveled from Jamaica to the United States in early May 2015. The indictment alleges that Allen sent a number of text messages to her co-conspirator in Jamaica discussing the plan to impersonate an FBI agent, including a text that attached an image of a law enforcement style badge with an “FBI” logo and the words “Federal Bureau of Investigation” on the face of the badge.

The indictment further alleges that on May 7, 2015, Allen traveled to the victim’s home in Evans, Georgia, falsely portrayed herself to the victim as a FBI special agent and provided the victim with a cell phone and directed him to speak with the person on the line, who was her co-conspirator in Jamaica.

“These lottery scammers prey on elderly Americans, and convince them to send significant amounts of money based on false promises,” said US Postal Inspector in Charge David W. Bosch of the Philadelphia Division. “The Postal Inspection Service is committed to investigating and combating these international lottery schemes.”

This prosecution is part of the Department of Justice’s effort to work with federal and local law enforcement to combat fraudulent lottery schemes in Jamaica that prey on American citizens. According to the US Postal Inspection Service, Americans have lost tens of millions of dollars to fraudulent foreign lotteries.

If convicted, Allen faces a statutory maximum sentence of up to 20 years in prison for the wire fraud count, as well as up to five years for the conspiracy count and up to three years for the false impersonation count.

An indictment is merely an allegation and every defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
Reads: 4473

Click here to receive daily news headlines from Caribbean News Now!



No comments on this topic yet. Be the first one to submit a comment.


As a result of our comments feature being overtaken in recent weeks by spammers using fake email addresses, producing a large number of bounced verification emails each day, we have reluctantly decided to suspend the comments section until further notice.

User comments posted on this website are the sole views and opinions of the comment author and are not representative of Caribbean News Now or its staff. Caribbean News Now accepts no liability and will not be held accountable for user comments.
Caribbean News Now reserves the right to remove, edit or censor any comments. Any content that is considered unsuitable, unlawful or offensive, includes personal details, advertises or promotes products, services or websites or repeats previous comments will not be approved.
Before posting, please refer to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Other Headlines:

Regional Sports: