Jamaican couple held in Pittsburg for lottery scamming

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held.jpgA Jamaican couple in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is in federal custody on conspiracy charges related to the lottery scam.

Ashani Ishmael Levy and his wife, Ekeyma Ebony Harris were arrested last week and are being held pending a hearing in U.S. District Court on Thursday.

A report in the Pittsburgh Gazette newspaper says the investigation started November 17 when an 80-year-old woman in Longmont, Colorado, told the police she was a victim.

The woman claimed she received calls from Jamaica claiming that she won US$17 million in the Publisher's Clearing House sweepstakes and should send money so she could collect her winnings

She was told several times to send money to the callers.

Cops then arrested Miss Harris and searched her house, discovering Western Union receipts indicating wire transfers to Jamaica.

Mr. Levy was later arrested.

Postal inspectors said Ms. Harris told them that she and Mr. Levy had moved to Hazelwood in Pittsburgh in June and had been sending between 10 per cent to 25 per cent of cash received from scams back to Jamaica.

According to inspectors, Miss Harris said she knew what they were doing was illegal and had told Mr. Levy to stop.