A Texarkana woman who plead guilty to mail fraud in federal court Tuesday, was a victim of the same fake lottery scam at the root of her felony charges.
Sandra Gloria Lockett, 61, thought she could get back some of the money she lost when she was duped into believing she was a big winner, according to plea documents.
“I did not create or organize this scheme, and I was initially a victim of the scheme and lost money believing I had won the Jamaican lottery,” plea documents state. “My co-conspirators then recruited me to join the scheme and to send mailings to victims in furtherance of the scheme on the promise I would receive some of the proceeds in order to recoup my losses.”
Lockett admits she used the U.S. Postal Service and Federal Express to entice unsuspecting targets of the phony lottery scam from January 2013 to April 2015. But Lockett’s if you can’t beat them join them philosophy only made her troubles worse.
Lockett was snared by a joint United States Postal Inspection Service and Homeland Security investigation. In June 2014, the authorities intercepted an express mail envelope containing $44,380 in cash and checks sent to Lockett by a victim who thought she had to pay “taxes and fees” in order to receive the big pay-out.
“I intended to keep some of the money as my portion of the proceeds of the scheme and forward the remainder to my co-conspirators,” according to plea documents. “I knew that (the victim) had not actually won the Jamaican lottery and had been fraudulently induced to send the money contained in the express mail envelope.”
Lockett’s co-conspirators are not identified in documents on file in her case.
Tuesday morning Lockett appeared with Texarkana lawyer Craig Henry before U.S. Magistrate Judge Caroline Craven for a change of plea hearing in the Texarkana Division of the Eastern District of Texas. Lockett will return to court in a few months for sentencing before U.S. District Judge Robert Schroeder. She faces up to 20 years in federal prison and could be fined up to $250,000.
Lockett is free on an unsecured $5,000 bond set by Craven at Lockett’s first court appearance in the case in June.[gview file=”http://txktoday.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/08/lockettfactbasis081815.pdf”]