Prosecutors: Jamaican cop ran fraud conspiracy targeting elderly
BROWN COUNTY, Wis. (WBAY) - An international scam targeting the elderly across the United States is busted wide open, thanks in large part to a woman from Northeast Wisconsin.
It’s linked to what federal investigators are now labeling the Allen Lottery Scheme Organization.
It’s named after Shelian Allen, the woman prosecutors say was helping lead a conspiracy to take more than one-and-a-half million dollars from victims across the U.S.
Allen is from Jamaica, and Action 2 News has learned she was actually a police officer prior to her arrest in Florida in early February.
We uncovered court documents about the case, revealing how instrumental a woman in Brown County was in cracking the case.
That woman is never named in the federal records and is only referred to as ‘Victim-1.’
She’s called a victim because investigators believe she lost around $150,000, including her home, because she was convinced she’d hit it big and won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes.
That sweepstakes, however, never existed.
Instead, prosecutors say the victim’s money was being funneled to a conspiracy in Jamaica, led by Allen, who told investigators she’d been a cop in that country for 18 years.
A criminal complaint filed in federal court in Wisconsin’s Eastern District charges Allen with conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud.
Those court documents show the investigation started in 2020 when Adult Protective Services contacted the Brown County Sheriff’s Office, on behalf of an elderly victim, who said someone she didn’t know contacted her, claiming to be a representative of the Publisher’s Clearing House.
The victim told investigators there was even music in the background to make it more realistic.
She was told she’d won a house, a Mercedes Benz and $18 million, but needed to keep it a secret from her bank.
Then came calls that did not stop, day and night, beginning to instruct her, over many months, to send cash, money orders and checks to people in the U.S. and Jamaica, each in the thousands of dollars to pay fees so she could receive the winnings.
Prosecutors say at one point the victim even sold her house in order to make a $30,000 payment to Allen and her co-conspirators.
Prosecutors say the group specifically targeted U.S. citizens who were elderly and had access to money.
And money is how they cracked this one.
Court records show a Brown County investigator diligently tracked withdrawals and deposits through multiple banks, and with the help of federal investigators, ultimately uncovered the name Shelian Allen.
Prosecutors say six unnamed co-conspirators helped funnel money through multiple accounts, trying to go undetected.
It didn’t work.
Court documents show 17 different victims lost in excess of $1.69 million.
Prosecutors say Allen spent much of the victims’ money on shopping trips.
Investigators summed it up this way, writing, ‘Allen used the money to enrich herself and her co-conspirators while ruining the lives of many of the victims.’
Allen is still being held in Florida, not just on this fraud case, but also drug importation and possession charges.
When authorities arrested her upon entry to Florida, court records show they discovered packages of cocaine hidden on Allen during a pat down.
Out of concern for her safety, investigators asked Allen if she’d swallowed any drugs.
Court records show Allen was then taken to the hospital where she eventually ‘expelled 90 pellets of cocaine.’
In all, prosecutors say Allen had more than 1,300 grams of cocaine worth a street value of more than $37,000 in her possession when she came into the United States.
She’ll be back in federal court on that case next week.
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