Five men from Connecticut have been indicted on 11 counts stemming from their alleged involvement in a romance and lottery fraud that took more than $4 million from victims. According to the indictment, the fraud schemes began in August 2015 and continued until the time of the arrests last week.
The criminals are said to have targeted the elderly, ultimately taking more than $1 million from a single victim. As part of the schemes, victims either sent checks, money orders, or gift cards to addresses in Connecticut, or they wired money to bank accounts controlled by the five perpetrators.
The individuals arrested were Farouq Fasasi, Rodney Thomas, Jr., Montrell Dobbs, Jr., Stanley Pierre, and Ralph Pierre. Fasasi, Thomas, Dobbs, and Ralph Pierre were arrested on March 10. Dobbs has been released on bond, while Stanley Pierre is still being sought by law enforcement.
All of the defendants are charged with one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, a charge that carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. The indictment also charges Fasasi and Thomas with one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and one count of mail fraud, each of which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. In addition, Fasasi, Dobbs, Stanley Pierre, and Ralph Pierre are charged with one or more counts of money laundering, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years on each count.
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