ANSONIA, CT — A 28-year-old Ansonia man, who federal prosecutors referred to as a “money mule” in the scheme, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his part in lottery and romance money scams, announced Acting U.S. Attorney Leonard C. Boyle.
Montrell Dobbs, Jr., was sentenced Thursday by U.S. District Judge Stefan R. Underhill in connection with the scheme, in which Dobbs was accused of being involved in defrauding primarily elderly victims across the country of millions of dollars.
For his part, Dobbs was accused of being a “money mule,” in which he retrieved “fraudulently obtained cash, checks and money orders that were sent through the mail to various addresses in New Haven, Hamden and Ansonia,” according to prosecutors.
Dobbs was arrested in March 2020, and in December, pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering.
While these fraud schemes are believed to have bilked victims out of more than $5 million across the country, Dobbs was accused of being involved in scams that swindled victims out of $85,000.
“Many of the victims were elderly and vulnerable, and some victims lost their life savings,” prosecutors said, adding that more than 200 victims nationally were scammed by the schemes, including a Connecticut victim who lost $1 million.
According to court documents and statements, in the lottery scams, scammers notify victims by telephone, through online communications, or by mail, that they have won the lottery.
“The victims are then told that in order to collect the prize they must pay fees for things like taxes, shipping and processing,” prosecutors said. “Often, once a victim sends a small amount of money, a scammer will ask for larger sums of money with a promise of more winnings. The victims ne ..