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The Case: The Jailed Scam Artist

Does a convicted fraudster deserve a new sentence because of a single misstatement?

Giuseppe Pileggi, a 50-year-old Canadian citizen, led an elaborate sweepstakes scheme from San José, Costa Rica, where he was living. The scam targeted American senior citizens with a telephone pitch that claimed to be coming from either a U.S. Customs official or another official with the government. Using special technology, the fraudsters made calls from Costa Rica that appeared to have the Washington, D.C., area code. They told the targets of their scam that they had won prize money in a foreign sweepstakes and needed to wire funds to Costa Rica as an insurance fee. This fee, upward of $1,000, would be refunded, they were told. If the victims sent the money, they would often receive a second call asking for more. None of the money was ever returned. … Back to Article

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