Jamaican lottery scammer out on J$15 million bail
KINGSTON, Jamaica, Thursday, November 24, 2011 – Two months after the Organised Crime Investigation Division (OCID) swooped down on him, Sean Lawrence, the St James businessman accused of earning an estimated J$1billion from the lottery scam, is out on bail.
The Montego Bay, St. James resident was offered bail in the sum of J$15 million with one or two sureties in the Corporate Area Resident Magistrate's Court on Monday.
Lawrence, who is charged with money laundering, is to return to court on January 3.
The conditions of his bail include reporting to the Freeport Police Station every day between the hours of 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. He is also to surrender his travel documents and a stop order was effected by the court.
On his previous court appearance, Lawrence, who owns an auto parts business in Catherine Hall, had denied having such wealth, and the court was informed that he is a legitimate businessman,
It is reported that the accused owns a mansion in St James and drives a 2012 Mercedes Benz, which the police considers suspicious.
Senior Resident Magistrate Judith Pusey had requested evidence from the defence to prove that the accused has acquired his wealth, if any, by lawful means.
Allegations are that between 2005 and 2011 the accused led a gang or a group of persons to defraud a number of United States (US) citizens.
It is alleged that the accused made several calls to the US informing these persons that they were randomly selected for a lottery prize.
These persons were also reportedly told that in order for them to claim their prizes, they would have to send money to the accused.
It is reported that the accused then used the monies he collected to acquire several properties, which he then disguised by registering them in other persons' names.
The scam attracted the attention of the US authorities who entered into a months-long joint investigation with the Jamaica Constabulary Force, which culminated in a three-day operation in Montego Bay, from September 21-23, leading to Lawrence’s arrest.