Woman sentenced to 24 months in prison for laundering funds from lottery fraud scheme targeting the elderly


Date: April 29, 2021

Contact: newsroom@ci.irs.gov

Tucson, AZ — Shanelle Bailey, a Jamaica-born woman living in Provo, Utah, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Rosemary Marquez to 24 months in prison. Bailey previously pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Money Laundering.

Bailey participated in a scheme where Jamaican-based scammers called elderly victims in the United States, claiming the victims had won a lottery. To receive their winnings, the victims were told they must first pay money for taxes and fees. Bailey's role in this scheme was to launder the fraudulent proceeds for fellow co-conspirators in Jamaica. The loss suffered by the victims exceeded $600,000.

As part of her sentence, Bailey will also be required to pay restitution in the amount of $80,850 to the victims in the case.

The U.S. Attorney's Office encourages the public to be wary of similar scams and to verify with law enforcement and family members before sending money after a phone solicitation, to include lottery or other computer related scams.

The Internal Revenue Service–Criminal Investigation, the Federal Trade Commission, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Homeland Security Investigations, and the Pima County Sherriff's Office conducted the investigation in this case. The U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Arizona, Tucson, handled the prosecution.