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Historic: Scammer Gets Four Years

 

The St James man who was the first person to be tried under the new Law Reform (Fraudulent Transaction) Special Provisions Act of 2013 was yesterday sentenced to four years in prison.

The convicted man, 21-year-old Marlon Davis, who is of a Grange Pen address in Lilliput, St James, was sentenced by High Court justice Leighton Pusey in the St James Circuit Court.

Initially, Davis pleaded guilty, but following the intervention of his lawyer, the court rejected his plea and ruled that he should go to trial. On the trial date, he again pleaded guilty.

Davis was arrested on December 28, 2013, by operatives of the Anti-Lottery Scam Task Force, which found lottery-scam paraphernalia at his premises.

Yesterday, Davis’ attorney, Charles Sinclair, asked Pusey to be lenient in sentencing his client as he had pleaded guilty from the outset and had no previous conviction.

accepted responsibility

“He has pleaded guilty and had done so at a very early stage, and has not wasted the court’s time,” said Sinclair. “It speaks of a person who has accepted responsibility for the wrong he has done.

“His (Davis) circumstance, his lifestyle, is one of poverty. I do not know if in the circumstances he may have been influenced by other persons,” Sinclair continued. “This is his first brush with the law. He is someone who can become a productive member of society, and he throws himself at the feet of the court.”

But in handing down sentence, Pusey told Davis that a message must be sent to the wider society to deter people from engaging in criminal practices, including the lottery scam.

“This is a serious offence, which takes advantage of persons who are vulnerable or unsuspecting. It is damaging not only to individuals, but to society at large,” said Pusey. “I have a responsibility to show that this is not an offence that others should get involved in.”

The lottery scam, which came to the fore in Jamaica in 2006, is a scheme by which unsuspecting American citizens are conned out of millions of dollars under the guise that they have won a multimillion-dollar Jamaica lottery.

Under the provision of the new law, a convicted person could be sent to prison for a maximum of 15 years at hard labour.

Christopher Thomas, Gleaner Writer, Copyright Jamaica-Gleaner.com

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