Man pleads guilty to sweepstakes fraud in NC

HENDERSONVILLE, NC (AP) — A man has pleaded guilty in North Carolina for his role in a sweepstakes fraud scheme that prosecutors say focused on elderly Americans.

The Times-News of Hendersonville reported that 34-year-old Geoffrey Alexander Ramer of Costa Rica pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering Monday. Ramer will be sentenced later.

Prosecutors say the scheme involved nearly $2 million.

Prosecutors said Ramer operated call centers in Costa Rica between 2008 and 2013 and called U.S. residents to tell them they had won a cash prize in a sweepstakes. Many of those who were called were elderly and were told they needed to send money for a refundable insurance fee in order to collect their winnings.

The company used a 202 area code, implying the calls were coming from Washington, D.C.

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