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Two men were convicted Wednesday for participating in a telemarketing scheme that defrauded victims, many of whom were seniors, out of millions of dollars, the Justice Department announced.
A federal jury found 30-year-old Manuel Chavez of Florida and 36-year-old Mark Oman of Washington guilty on multiple wire fraud and money laundering charges after they posed as U.S. government officials and falsely told victims they had won a "sweepstakes" prize, according to court documents.
Chavez and Oman contacted victims in the United States from a call center in Costa Rica, using technology to make it appear that they were calling from America, and convinced them they were eligible for a financial reward, according to the Justice Department.
They convinced victims to make payments before collecting their "reward," telling them it was for paying taxes and fees.
Chavez was responsible for transmitting the payments from the U.S. to Costa Rica while Oman made the phone calls, court documents said, and both took $4.5 million from the victims.
The two men were each convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, six counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit international money laundering, and six counts of international money laundering. They each face up to 20 years in prison per count.
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Original Author: Jeremy Beaman
Original Location: Two convicted in $4.5 million international telemarketing scheme