Thursday, July 23, 2009

U.S. charges 12 in Israel-based lottery fraud

Forbes reports that twelve people have been indicted on charges of running an Israel-based telemarketing fraud that bilked elderly victims in the United States out of more than $25 million, authorities said.

The defendants are accused of calling victims in the United States and falsely declaring that they had won an international lottery, according to criminal indictments unsealed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan Tuesday.

The 12 were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud through telemarketing. Several also were charged with mail fraud and wire fraud.

The Jerusalem Post also reports that, following a joint investigation by the FBI and the Israel Police, Israeli officers on Tuesday arrested Avi Ayache, Michelle Yuval, Yaron Bar, Gillian Rosenberg, Toshin Charles Samuels, Oshrat Portolyoni, Naor Green, Yulia Rayz, Limore Cohen, Ian Kaye and Avi Perov. A 12th suspect, Matthew Getto, was arrested on July 4 at Newark International Airport in New Jersey just before catching a flight to Israel.

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