UNITED STATES NEWS

3 Vegas-area men to appeal lengthy US prison terms in $10M prize-notification fraud case

Sep 18, 2023, 4:11 PM

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Attorneys say three Nevada men intend to appeal lengthy federal prison terms they received after being found guilty of conducting a prize-notification scheme that prosecutors say bilked elderly and vulnerable victims out of more than $10 million over the course of eight years.

Mario Castro, 55, of Las Vegas was sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court to 20 years in prison, Miguel Castro, 58, of Las Vegas, was sentenced to more than 19 years, and Jose Luis Mendez, 49, of Henderson, was sentenced to 14 years, U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada Jason Frierson said.

A jury found the three men guilty in April of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and multiple counts of mail fraud, Frierson said in a Monday statement about the case.

Attorneys Willliam Brown for Mendez, Joshua Tomsheck for Mario Castro and Lucas Gaffney for Miguel Castro said Monday that their clients maintain their innocence and will appeal their convictions and sentences.

Several other Las Vegas-area residents previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in the case, Frierson’s statement said.

Mailings appeared to be sent by corporate organizations with names including Imperial Award Services, Assets Unlimited, Pacific Disbursement Reporting, Special Money Managers, Price Awards and Money Securities, according to the indictment.

The defendants were indicted in November 2019. Court documents and trial evidence showed that from 2010 to February 2018, the three men and several other co-conspirators printed and mailed millions of fraudulent prize notices inviting victims to pay a fee of about $25 to claim a large cash prize, the U.S. Attorney’s Office statement said.

Jurors were told that people who paid did not receive anything of value and were often bombarded with additional fraudulent prize notices. After multiple cease-and-desist orders, U.S. Postal Service inspectors executed search warrants, and the Justice Department obtained a court order shutting down the operation.

United States News

Associated Press

An arrest has been made and charges filed in Pennsylvania slaying of pregnant Amish woman

SPARTANSBURG, Pa. (AP) — A Pennsylvania man was arrested Saturday and charged with the slaying of a pregnant Amish woman whose body was found last week. Shawn C. Cranston, 52, of Corry, has been charged with criminal homicide, criminal homicide of an unborn child, burglary and criminal trespass, Pennsylvania State Police said. He was denied […]

35 minutes ago

FILE - Alexander Smirnov, second from right, leaves the courthouse on Feb. 20, 2024, in Las Vegas. ...

Associated Press

How clean is the dirt on Hunter Biden? A key Republican source is charged with lying to the FBI

WASHINGTON (AP) — Alexander Smirnov was cast by Republicans as one of the FBI’s most trusted informants, offering a “highly credible” account of brazen public corruption by Joe Biden that formed a pillar of the House impeachment investigation of the Democratic president. Then, last month, the script changed dramatically. charged with lying to the FBI, […]

1 hour ago

Associated Press

Powerful storm in California and Nevada shuts interstate and dumps snow on mountains

RENO, Nev. (AP) — A powerful blizzard raged overnight into Saturday in the Sierra Nevada as the biggest storm of the season shut down a long stretch of Interstate-80 in California and gusty winds and heavy rain hit lower elevations, leaving tens of thousands of customers without power. Up to 10 feet (3 meters) of […]

7 hours ago

Musher Dutch Johnson, a kennel manager at The August Foundation for Alaska Racing Dogs, runs a dog ...

Associated Press

Alaska’s Iditarod dogs get neon visibility harnesses after 5 were fatally hit while training

ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) — The Iditarod, the annual sled dog race celebrating Alaska’s official state sport, is set to get underway Saturday with a new focus on safety after five dogs died and eight were injured in collisions with snowmobiles while training on shared, multi-use trails. For the first time, mushers who line up for […]

9 hours ago

FILE - Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference...

Associated Press

Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton beat impeachment. Now he wants Super Tuesday revenge on his foes

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton beat impeachment. On Super Tuesday, he wants political revenge. The Republican, who just six months ago was on the brink of removal from office, is charging into Texas’ primaries on a dramatic campaign to oust dozens in his own party. They include rank-and-file legislators, state judges […]

9 hours ago

Associated Press

2 races, including crowded chief justice campaign, could push Arkansas court further to the right

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. (AP) — Two races for the Arkansas Supreme Court, including a crowded chief justice campaign, could push a court that’s been targeted by outside conservative groups even further to the right. The nonpartisan elections on Tuesday for chief justice and another seat could have major implications on cases before the court or […]

9 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Day & Night is looking for the oldest AC in the Valley

Does your air conditioner make weird noises or a burning smell when it starts? If so, you may be due for an AC unit replacement.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

3 Vegas-area men to appeal lengthy US prison terms in $10M prize-notification fraud case