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Virgin Islanders Warned To Avoid Lottery Scams Over The Phone Or Internet

jamaica lottery scammer

PHILADELPHIA – An indictment was filed recently charging six people with running a “Jamaican lottery” scam in the United States between January 2012 and March 2015, which targeted an Upper Darby man among their prey, U.S. States Attorney Zane David Memeger and Homeland Security Investigations Special Agent-in-Charge John P. Kelleghan announced.

Maurice Simmonds, aka “Damion Dash,” 34, Devon A. Grant, aka “The Bachelor,” 55, Majid Morris, 34, Ashley Hicks-Williams, 29, Melissa Duncan, 29, and Warren Chevannes, aka “Dave,” 37, were charged with conspiring to commit mail, bank and wire fraud in a scheme that obtained more than $200,000 from mostly elderly victims with diminished mental capacity.

Simmonds, the alleged organizer and leader of the conspirators, and some of the other members of the conspiracy were also charged with wire fraud and travel fraud as the result of specifically defrauding an elderly resident of the Drexel Hill section of Upper Darby.

According to the indictment, the victims were informed that they had won the “Jamaican lottery,” but that in order to claim their winnings they first needed to pay tens of thousands of dollars for certain “fees.” The victims were repeatedly coerced to provide the conspirators with cash, checks, and property, but never received any winnings from the purported lottery.

If convicted, each defendant faces a substantial prison term, possible fines, special assessments, and supervised release.

The case was investigated by Homeland Security Investigations, the Delaware County District Attorney’s Criminal Investigation Division Senior Exploitation Unit, and the Delaware County Office of Services for the Aging. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Anita Eve.

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John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.


  1. Lisa Cass
    September 20, 2016 at 9:27 AM — Reply

    Hi I just received a message on my phone that I won the virgin island lotto through cell phone which I replied to through my email.
    They have not responded and asked for anything but now I am concerned could this be the same thing?

    • Alex
      September 27, 2016 at 6:12 PM — Reply

      Hey I just got the same message saying my phone number was picked in a draw for the virgin island lotto

      • Dave
        September 28, 2016 at 3:10 AM — Reply

        Hey I just got the same email saying I won 260 000 on my phone. All I need to do is send a email .
        Don’t you think if they had my cell number that theyd just call me instead ?
        What a joke lol

        • Malaika M.
          October 19, 2016 at 5:11 PM — Reply

          I also got that message, and they said they would issue a 4,950 cheque in my name to process the 260,000$ prize, they said to keep confidentiality about this deal.

          Virgin Islands lottery cut off communication, emails are bouncing. I never had to pay for anything but if I would have received a cheque, it would be fake and it would bounce.

      • Sherry
        September 28, 2016 at 6:51 AM — Reply

        I just received a text saying the same thing. Figured it was a scam. The number the text came from was 289-980-2841

  2. pooki
    October 3, 2016 at 7:51 AM — Reply

    I Just recieved the same text message on Sept. 27th from Virgin Island Lotto… for a winnings of 260,000 USD. Yet I am located in Canada!?! They text from the number: (647)-646-6795. My guess is they are using différent numbers too… So I would beware… By “them” asking for you to email them back, It will give them access to your email address, which could result to them hacking into your emails… Could find access into your online banking account information, resulting to theft… Could be far fetched…but better safe than sorry… Would recommend NOT responding. Sounds like a scam to me… And I agree with Dave, if the have my cell# why not call?!?… Lol They even failed to spell (lottery) correctly in their email address…lol silly crooks ?

  3. Melanie Gionet
    October 21, 2016 at 3:15 PM — Reply

    I just received a cheque in the mail for four thousand nine hundred and fifty dollars I called the company they told me to go cash it but I brought it to my bank instead they are holding it to see if its a fake I feel dooped

    • Tannice
      October 24, 2016 at 4:45 PM — Reply

      So did the cheque go through??

    • noha hindawi
      October 27, 2016 at 9:34 AM — Reply

      so what happened to the cheque

  4. david purvis
    October 31, 2016 at 10:57 AM — Reply

    the official Virgin Islands Lottery site says they DO NOT notify winners by either email or text – so the cheque will bounce

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