Man pleads guilty to scam that targeted seniors

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Updated: 9/03/2014 5:59 am

SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — A 31-year-old man has pleaded guilty in federal court in Sacramento to his role in a telemarketing scheme that officials say defrauded senior citizens out of thousands of dollars.

The Sacramento Bee reports Joseph Nkunzi entered his plea Tuesday to conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with the scam that tricked people into sending him money to receive cash prizes.

The FBI began investigating when a 78-year-old Northern California woman reported she had been told she had won $8.8 million. To receive the prize, she was told she had to send $182,000 to various accounts to pay for taxes and fees.

In all, victims lost approximately $850,000 to the scam.

When federal agents searched Nkunzi's home in Washington state, they seized a Maserati and a Lexus.

Sentencing is set for Nov. 19.

©2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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