Queens Man Pleads Guilty in Multi-Million Dollar Prize Notice Fraud Scheme

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FILE PHOTO: Signage is seen at the United States Department of Justice headquarters in Washington, D.C.

CENTRAL ISLIP, NY – Earlier today, at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York, Scott Gammon pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud. The over $4 million fraud involved a mass mailing scheme that tricked consumers into paying fees for falsely promised cash prizes. The plea took place before Magistrate Judge Steven I. Locke.

Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Brian M. Boynton, Principal Deputy Attorney General of the Justice Department’s Civil Division, and Daniel B. Brubaker, Inspector-in-Charge, United States Postal Inspection Service (USPIS) announced the guilty plea.

“The defendant admitted he deceived elderly and vulnerable victims into believing they had won cash prizes by inducing them to pay bogus ‘fees’ to him and his co-conspirators,” stated United States Attorney Peace. “This Office will continue to protect our seniors and other consumers from harm caused by predatory solicitation schemes.”

“Fraudulent prize notices often trick elderly victims into sending away their money based on false promises of large cash prizes,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Boynton. “This guilty plea is the latest example of the Department of Justice continuing to pursue and prosecute the perpetrators of these schemes.”

“Postal Inspectors remind consumers, if you have to pay to win a prize, you’ll lose your money. These are all scams designed to lure consumers into sending their hard-earned money—not for a prize, but to fatten the pockets of a fraudster. Mr. Gammon may have thought he got away with this scheme, but he was sadly mistaken when he was confronted by the full investigative power of law enforcement,” said USPIS Inspector-in-Charge Brubaker.

According to court documents, from August 2014 through August 2019, Gammon engaged in a direct-mail scheme that sent fraudulent prize notification mailings to thousands of consumers. The mailings induced consumers to pay a fee, purportedly in return for a large cash prize. None of the consumers who paid the fee ever received such a prize. Gammon is the third defendant to plead guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with this scheme.

Two other defendants previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud for participating in the scheme. Christopher King pleaded guilty on September 15, 2021 and Natasha Khan, pleaded guilty on December 15, 2021.

Each of the three defendants faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison.

Assistant United States Attorneys Charles P. Kelly and Madeline O’Connor of the Eastern District of New York, Long Island Criminal Division are prosecuting the case with Trial Attorneys Daniel Zytnick and Timothy Finley of the Civil Division’s Consumer Protection Branch.

The Defendant:

SCOTT GAMMON
Age: 47
Broad Channel, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 22-085 (DRH)

Defendants Previously Pleaded Guilty:

CHRISTOPHER KING
Age: 36
Oceanside, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-418 (DRH)

NATASHA KHAN
Age: 38
Elmont, New York

E.D.N.Y. Docket No. 21-CR-609 (DRH)