Man convicted after stealing more than $700,000 from Estes Park senior in lottery scam

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DENVER (KDVR) – A 43-year-old Jamaican national living in Brooklyn, NY was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and eight counts of aiding and abetting mail fraud in Denver late last week.

Leonard Luton and another Jamaican national conspired to convince an elderly woman in Estes Park that she had won a $2.8 million lottery and a Mercedes Benz.

The victim was told she needed to pay thousands of dollars in “fees” in order to receive her winnings.

A co-conspirator of Luton’s told the victim to mail multiple packages containing cash and cashier’s checks to addresses that turned out to be those of Luton’s friends.

The victim was also told to purchase and mail six iPhones to the scammers.

According to evidence admitted at trial, Luton had made two trips to the victim’s home to pick up packages of cash.

On the first trip, a co-conspirator of Luton’s went to the victim’s door at 1:30 a.m. and identified himself as an FBI agent. The co-conspirator then showed a fake badge and had the victim hand over a package containing $6500 in cash.

During the second trip to the victim’s house, Luton was arrested and in possession of one of the iPhones purchased by the victim.

In total, the victim lost more than $700,000 in this scheme.

“The United States Attorney’s Office is committed to fighting elder fraud,” said United States Attorney Jason Dunn.  “Lottery scams are just one way that scammers prey on vulnerable victims.  Together with our law enforcement partners, we are working to protect the elderly and bring scammers to justice.”

“The outcome of this case is indicative of the success that can be attained when agencies combine resources to tackle cyber-related matters such as the greed-driven lottery scam Mr. Luton fabricated,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Dean Phillips. “We are confident this case will send a message to those who devise complex fraud schemes that they will be aggressively investigated and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.  The FBI would like to extend its appreciation to the Larimer County Sheriff’s Office and Estes Park Police Department for their partnership, hard work, and efforts in this investigation.”

Luton is scheduled to be sentenced on May 12, 2020.

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