Local News

Pair get prison time for sweepstakes scam

Posted March 16, 2012 2:23 p.m. EDT

— Two men were sentenced Thursday to federal prison for a scheme in which they scammed dozens of elderly people out of at least $840,000, authorities said.

Clayton Atkinson, 33, and David Stewart, 62, pleaded guilty last year to wire fraud. Atkinson was sentenced to 12½ years in prison, while Stewart received a 6½-year sentence.

From December 2004 to April 2007, the men ran an operation near Montreal in which they called elderly residents across the U.S., told them they had won a large prize in a sweepstakes or lottery and convinced them to send money in order to receive their prize.

The investigation determined that at least 39 victims in various states, including North Carolina, had been defrauded, authorities said. Atkinson and Stewart were ordered to pay $840,705 in restitution to the victims.