Telemarketer sentenced in sweepstakes scheme


ASHEVILLE, N.C. (AP) — A telemarketer has been sentenced to more than five years in prison for his role in a $10 million telemarketing scheme.

U.S. District Judge Max Cogburn, of the western district of North Carolina, sentenced Carlin Woods, of Merrillville, Indiana, to 63 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

Prosecutors say the scheme defrauded primarily elderly victims in the United States from call centers in Costa Rica.

Woods pleaded guilty in May 2017 to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one court of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

In a plea agreement, Woods admitted to working with co-conspirators who falsely posed as employees of U.S. government agencies. They contacted victims to tell them they had won a substantial “sweepstakes” prize.

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