J’can mother and son charged in US for phone scam targeting the elderly

A Jamaican mother and her son have been booked on fraud and money laundering charges after a US Postal Service investigation revealed a $700,000 scam that targeted older people.

Reports are that Theresa Lawson, 51, and her son Rojay Lawson, 23, ran the scheme for close to four years.

According to the indictment, the Lawsons pretended to be representatives from “a genuine sweepstakes company” and in some instances, from financial institutions or a federal agency.

Court documents reveal that an 89-year-old victim received a phone call from someone identifying themselves as ‘David Anderson’.

Anderson is alleged to have told the victim that they were a “Publisher’s Clearing House winner of $2.5 million and a new Mercedes.”

The victim subsequently sent US $1,795 to Lawson. 

Court documents further reveal that the scam targeted 175 elderly people and raked in millions, with the mother-son pair transferring US$700,000 to ‘co-conspirators’ in Jamaica

A federal search warrant, outlined in court documents, stated several cell phones and miscellaneous documents were recovered from the Lawsons’ home in South Carolina. 

Following the search of their home, the duo was arrested. Both pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial.