Prosecutors said Wednesday that a husband and wife allegedly scammed about two dozen mostly elderly victims out of more than $300,000, the New York Daily News reports.

“This organization made it a practice to use everyday fixtures like the U.S. Post Office, Publishers Clearing House and the neighborhood shoe store to promote their outrageous criminal schemes,” Special Narcotics Prosecutor Bridget Brennan said in a statement.

ABC News New York said the Drug Enforcement Agency uncovered the sweepstakes scheme while investigating the alleged ringleader, Ricardo Castang, for cocaine trafficking.

Victims in 17 states were told they won the sweepstakes but must first pay fees and taxes to receive their winnings. They were directed to mail checks to Castang’s Brooklyn home or to a P.O. Box address. One victim sent Castang and his alleged co-conspirator wife, Linda Altidor, a $60,000 check.

Castang, 35, and Altidor, 30, were charged with first-degree scheme to defraud, ABC reported.

Prosecutors also charged the couple with money laundering. A third defendant, 25-year-old Tiffany Wattley, was also arrested and charged only with money laundering but not the sweepstakes scam.

Castang was already in jail for alleged cocaine trafficking when prosecutors uncovered the sweepstakes scheme. Altidor and Wattley pleaded not guilty Wednesday to the money laundering charge.

SOURCE:  New York Daily News, ABC News New York

 

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3 thoughts on “Couple Indicted For Publishers Clearing House Sweepstakes Scam

  1. October 28, 2008

    This is a response I wrote to:

    Samuel S. Conway
    Office Of The Director
    PMB
    10120 W. W. Flamingo Rd., Suite 4
    Las Vegas, Nevada 89147

    Dear Mr. Conway,
    First, let me express my extreme gratitude for being selected to receive this wonderful blessing. It is indeed what I have been waiting a lifetime for. Getting this prize notification in the mail among a stack of bills, was indeed a very nice surprise. I can’t thank you enough. So, I am sending in my authorization form right away – I don’t want to risk going past my expiration date. Again, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. This prize money will enable to retire comfortably without worries about how to survive my senior years.

    Enclosed you will find my authorization form. However, regarding the $24.87 processing fee, I am not able to afford that amount at this time. Therefore, I am giving my permission to deduct funds in the amount of $49.74 from my reward money. This will pay the processing fee and a little something for you, for giving me this special opportunity to live out the rest of my days in comfort and peace. If this arrangement is not agreeable to you and the prize commission, then fuck you and the horse you rode into town on. I will look forward to your reply, and hopefully receiving my $998,407.77 check minus the processing fee in the mail very soon.

    Sincerely,
    Kates1221

    Needless to say, I’m still waiting on my check.

  2. specialt757 on said:

    It’s troubling that someone who has $60,000 is not smart enough to say the words “deduct this from my winnings and mail me the difference”.

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