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Scammers get prison after bilking elderly Estes Park woman out of nearly $1 million

Rajay Dobson and Leonard Luton were each ordered to pay the victim back more than $880,000.

DENVER — Two Jamaican nationals who tricked an elderly Estes Park woman in a lottery scam will spend years in federal prison.

The U.S. Attorney's Office for Colorado said Rajay Dobson and Leonard Luton conspired to convince the victim into thinking she had won a $2.8 million lottery and a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. The men got the woman to pay thousands in "fees" in order to get her winnings.

Prosecutors said Dobson called the victim hundreds of times, eventually convincing her to follow his instructions. Dobson got the woman to mail packages of cash and cashier's checks, along with six iPhones, to the addresses of Luton's friends.

On two occasions, Luton traveled to the victim's home in Estes Park to pick up packages of cash. The first trip happened in October 2018. On that trip, one of Luton's co-conspirators showed up at the victim's home at 1:30 a.m., identified himself as an FBI agent, showing her a fake badge, and directed the woman to give him a package that contained $65,000 in cash, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Luton was arrested at the victim's home when he traveled there in January 2019. When he was arrested, Luton was possessing one of the iPhones the victim had purchased, prosecutors said. 

In all, the victim was scammed out of more than $970,000.

Luton was convicted in February 2020. He was sentenced to nine years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $881,000 in restitution to the victim.

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“These fraudsters took advantage of one of our community’s most vulnerable victims,” U.S. Attorney Cole Finegan said. “We want to make it clear: individuals who prey on the elderly will be held accountable.” 

"Scammers often prey on elderly individuals, who might be embarrassed and reluctant to come forward. In this case, by the time legitimate law enforcement was notified, the victim was defrauded of almost one million dollars," Special Agent in Charge Michael Schneider said. "The FBI is committed to combating these scammers, even those located outside of the United States."

After Luton's sentencing, U.S. officials located, arrested and extradited Dobson from Jamaica. 

Dobson pleaded guilty in March to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He was sentenced on Wednesday to more than five years in prison followed by three years of supervised release. He, too, was ordered to pay the victim more than $881,000 in restitution.

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