BIRMINGHAM, ALABAMA – On Wednesday, January 6th, federal agents arrested a woman for her role in a lottery fraud scheme, announced U.S. Attorney Prim F. Escalona, FBI Special Agent in Charge Johnnie Sharp, Jr., and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector-In-Charge, Houston Division, Adrian Gonzalez.
A five-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court charges Gloria Kirk Edmonson, 75, of Houston, Texas, with one count of conspiracy, two counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.
According to the indictment, from January 2019 through December 2020, Edmonson was a part of a lottery fraud scheme that persuaded individuals, often vulnerable elderly individuals, to send money and/or valuable property via mail. The individuals were led to believe they had won the lottery and need only pay their taxes or fees to receive their winnings.
Edmonson deposited the money into bank accounts that she controlled. The funds were transferred to other accounts that her co-conspirators had access to via a debit card, which they used to withdraw cash from financial institutions in Jamaica.
The maximum penalty for conspiracy is five years in prison. The maximum penalty for wire fraud, mail fraud, and the money laundering conspiracy is 20 years in prison.
FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristen S. Osborne is prosecuting the case.
An indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.