Local News

Canadians accused of defrauding elderly Americans

Posted March 12, 2011 10:29 a.m. EST
Updated March 12, 2011 10:32 a.m. EST

— Three Canadians are accused of scamming elderly Americans out of more than $900,000, according to George Holding, the U.S. attorney for eastern North Carolina.

Clay Atkinson, David Stewart and Jamaal McKenzie, all of Montreal, Quebec, were indicted last Saturday on federal charges of wire fraud, mail fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property and conspiring to commit offenses against the United States.

Prosecutors said that the suspects had gotten money and goods worth more than $900,000 from the victims since December 2004.

The indictment states that the suspects posed as officials with government agencies, including the FBI, IRS and U.S. Customs, and called elderly people in the United States. They told the victims that they had won a lottery or sweepstakes and would be given a large cash prize after paying taxes or fees on it, according to the indictment.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Royal Canadian Mounted Police.

Atkinson and Stewart made their first appearance before a federal magistrate in North Carolina Tuesday. Authorities are seeking to extradite McKenzie to North Carolin as well.