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Man pleaded guilty in connection with a multi-million dollar fraud scheme that targeted the “vulnerable and elderly,” prosecutors say
Shaun Sullivan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud Tuesday
He sent fake prize-promotion mailings that led recipients to believe they could claim large cash prizes for modest fee, prosecutors say
A Long Island man pleaded guilty Tuesday in connection witha multi-million dollar fraud scheme that targeted the “vulnerable and elderly,” prosecutors say.
Shaun Sullivan pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud by sending fraudulent prize-promotion mailings that led recipients to believe that they could claim large cash prizes in exchange for a modest fee, according to prosecutors.
However, officials say none of the victims who submitted fees, which in total exceeded $30 million, received a substantial cash prize.
Sullivan is the second individual to plead guilty to the sweepstakes fraud scheme, according to prosecutors.
“Sullivan preyed on consumers, many of them vulnerable and elderly, by sending fraudulent mailings designed to trick them into believing they had won a cash prize; he then lined his own pockets with the fees he extracted from the victims,” U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York Richard P. Donoghue said in a statement. “Protecting the community from mass mailing fraud schemes remains a priority of this Office and the Department of Justice.”
According to prosecutors, between December 2010 and July 2016, Sullivan and others sent fraudulent prize-promotion mailings to thousands of victims nationwide. The mailings appeared to be personally addressed to individuals whose names were on consumer lists allegedly obtained by Sullivan and his coconspirators.
Sullivan and co-defendant Tully Lovisa rented and maintained private mailboxes in the Eastern District of New York to receive return mailings sent by the victims, prosecutors say, adding that the two allegedly created various shell companies for the purported senders of the mailings, and hid their involvement in the business by using straw owners and aliases.
Lovisa pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in October 2018, and is awaiting sentencing, prosecutors say.
Sullivan faces up to 20 years in prison, as well as $550,000 in forfeiture and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or gross loss from the offense, prosecutors say.