New York man pleads guilty to bogus lottery scheme

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BOSTON >> Authorities say a New York man has pleaded guilty to his role in a bogus lottery scheme.

Twenty-nine-year-old Wilder Vladimir Merelan, of Hempstead, New York, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boston to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Prosecutors say Merelan and his co-conspirators told people they had won millions of dollars through the lottery but needed to pay taxes on their winnings before receiving the funds. Merelan was presented as an IRS employee to the victims of the scheme, which happened from 2012 to 2015.

Approximately 16 victims, including a Massachusetts man, sent more than $830,000 to Merelan to secure their alleged winnings. The victims ranged in age from 69 to 91.

Sentencing is scheduled for Aug. 10.

Merelan faces up to 20 years in prison.


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