A Jamaican convicted of being a lottery scammer in the United States called her victim 500 times over a four-month period to collect money, according to court documents.
Raven Shakes, 27, of a Massachusetts address, reportedly scammed a 84-year-old Utah woman out of US$160,000 (J$20.8 million).
She was sentenced on Monday to four years and three months in prison and possible deportation back to her home country of Jamaica after she pleaded guilty to mail fraud.
Court documents state Shakes called the victim in 2016 and told her she had won US$11.5 million in a sweepstakes. She told the woman she was automatically enrolled in the sweepstakes because she paid her utility bills. Shakes told her to send money for payment of taxes and other fees associated with claiming the multimillion-dollar prize.
Attorneys had said Shakes was organized and called the woman to collect money nearly 500 times over the four-month time period.
Inside the courtroom, Shakes reportedly begged the judge to show mercy.
“The crime I committed was mail fraud,” Shakes was quoted as saying by Fox 13 News. “I trusted people I did not know. I should be been more careful. I am truly sorry for the loss of the victims. In the future, I will not make this mistake again.”
The victim meanwhile tearfully recalled how Shakes befriended her.
“You became a friend to me,” the woman said to Shakes in court. “We talked about your mother and my kids and grandkids.
“You told me, ‘Sweetie! I would never scam you.'”