Tag Archive | "lottery scam"

ZJ Wah Wa

ZJ Wah Wah expected to plead guilty in lottery scam case

ZJ Wah WaRenowned Jamaican disc jockey, Deon-ville O’Hara, more popularly known as ZJ Wah Wa will plead guilty to three charges connected to a scamming case in the United States when he returns to court on Sept. 25 in North Dakota.

The DJ, known for his time working at ZIP 103 FM was arrested in May along with 26 other people, including 16 fellow Jamaicans, in relation to a lottery scam he is alleged to have assisted running from Jamaica. The alleged scam persuaded several American citizens, many of them elderly, to send millions of dollars in exchange for promised lottery winnings. It is alleged that O’Hara would act as a courier for the exchange, travelling to the U.S. on occasion to collect the funds.

Additionally, he had been stopped at the Sangsters International Airport in Montego Bay last November where customs officers found US$105,000 cash on his person, which were alleged proceeds from the scam.

O’Hara was charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy and initially pled not guilty to all charges during his last court appearance in June.

However, Federal Prosecutor and Asst. United States attorney, Clare Hocchalter confirmed that O’Hara has changed his tune and entered a plea agreement, saying he entered into a plea agreement on Sept. 10, meaning he would waive his right to a jury trial and plead guilty.

Four others accused in the scam, Mikael Gillette, 24; Charles Bauder, 54; Shannon O’Connor, 30; and James Simpson, 72, all Americans, also pleaded guilty.

Wah Wa faces up 30 years in prison on each of the three counts, a fine, mandatory restitution and possible forfeiture of property. He is currently being held at the Heart of America Detention Centre in Rugby, North Dakota.

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ZJ Wah Wa 2014

ZJ Wah Wa to stand trial in September in lottery scam case

ZJ Wah Wa 2014Popular Jamaican disc jock, Deon-ville O’Hara, more popularly known as ZJ Wah Wa will go on trial in his ongoing lottery scam case on September 15 following a hearing inside a North Dakota courtroom on Thursday.

Reports Saturday say the ZIP FM disc jock, who was transferred in late May to a North Dakota jail from Florida, pled not guilty to three charges, including money laundering, conspiracy in connection with telemarketing and wire and mail fraud. The 24-year old selector is one of 26 people held in connection with the alleged scam. He will be in the custody of U.S. Marshals until the beginning of the trial.

Allegations are that O’Hara assisted in running a lottery scam in Jamaica that conned American nationals into sending money in exchange for promised lottery winnings. It is further alleged that O’Hara would then fly to the U.S. to collect said money from victims.

Alleged victims in the scam include an 83-year-old North Dakota woman who sent cheques amounting to US$158,000 after being promised nearly US$19 million in lottery winnings as well as a South Dakota man who sent a cashier’s cheque totaling US$14,000 after being promised US$3.5 million in winnings and a 2012 Mercedes Benz, according to the Associated Press.

O’Hara was arrested in early May after visiting Florida. Four months earlier, he had been stopped by customs officials at the Sangster International Airport in Montego Bay after US$105,000 was found in his possession, money investigators believe was copped through the alleged scam.

After news of O’Hara’s charges broke, ZIP FM’s station manager released a statement saying that the radio station would, “allow the due process of the law to take place, where persons are given the benefit of the doubt and presumed innocent until proven guilty, our employees will be extended the same courtesy.”

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ZJ Wah Wa charged

ZJ Wah Wa charged in U.S. lottery scam investigation

ZJ Wah Wa chargedPopular Jamaican disc jockey, Deon-ville O’Hara, more popularly known as ZJ Wah Wa has been charged by federal authorities in the United States in relation to a lottery scam investigation in which he is alleged to be part of a group scamming elderly residents in the Dakotas and elsewhere.

Reports Wednesday confirmed The ZIP FM personality is one of 26 people indicted by a federal grand jury in North Dakota and has been charged with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud as well as money laundering, according to the Associated PressEach of the counts carry a maximum prison term of 30 years.

It is alleged that O’Hara and others ran a lottery scam in Jamaica in which they convinced several elderly victims to send them millions of dollars to cover fees for lottery winnings. O’Hara would then travel to the U.S. to collect the money from victims, according to prosecutors.

The initial indictment, which was unsealed Tuesday, includes a case in which one 83-year-old North Dakota woman sent seven cheques totaling US$158,000 after being promised nearly US$19 million in winnings. In another instance, a South Dakota man sent a cashier’s cheque totaling US$14,000 after he was promised US$3.5 million in lottery winnings, as well as a 2012 Mercedes.

In November, O’Hara was stopped at Sangster International Airport by local customs officials after US$105,000 was found in his possession. Investigators believe this money was part of the proceeds from the alleged scam.

However, O’Hara was not arrested until earlier this month when he visited Florida. He currently sits in a Miami jail, but has requested that he be transferred to a North Dakota facility, according to his lawyer, Herman Frank Rubio Jr.

ZJ Wah Wa is the second Jamaican entertainment personality to be arrested in an alleged lottery scam. In February,Tommy Lee Sparta was charged with breaches of Jamaica’s anti-lottery act after authorities found lists of American citizens and other materials believed to have been used in the scam.

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Tommy Lee Sparta 2014

Dancehall star, Tommy Lee Sparta charged with breaching lottery scam act

Tommy Lee Sparta 2014Dancehall deejay, Tommy Lee Sparta has been charged with breaching the anti-lottery scam act in relation with an alleged lottery scam.The Montego Bay native, whose real name is Leroy Russell, was charged Friday afternoon along with four other individuals in relation to the alleged scam. He was granted JA$400,000 bail and is expected to appear in the Half-Way-Tree Court to answer the charge, according to his attorney, Bert Samuels.

Tommy Lee Sparta was taken into police custody Feb. 3rd following an investigation. In a report, the Jamaica Constabulary Force stated the investigation was triggered following a routine traffic stop in New Kingston after a driver had violated the Road Traffic Act and gave fake identification after not possessing a driver’s license.

Subsequent reports say police then raided a St. Andrew residence occupied by the deejay, where they seized documents that included lists of American citizens and other material allegedly used in the scam. Lee and six others were taken into custody as well as the vehicle stopped earlier that day.

Lottery scams have become a topic of contention in Jamaica in recent years, with regular citizens as well as politicians implicated in investigations pertaining to scamming. In 2013, American lawmakers demanded that Jamaicans implicated in lottery scamming defrauding U.S. citizens be extradited to their country to stand trial, calling out Jamaican law makers in the process for not acting quickly enough to dissuade alleged scams.

Once a prized protégé of Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel, Tommy Lee Sparta burst on the scene since the turn of the decade with hits such as Warn Dem, Psycho, Uncle Demon and Some Bwoy. He is still recovering from a near-fatal car accident he was involved in last November as he was traveling to his 26th birthday party.

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Jamaica’s security minister points finger at Vybz Kartel for triggering crime

KartelDespite the many accomplishments Dancehall music has been accredited with since its inception, the popular genre continues to garner heat for inciting crime and violence within Jamaican culture, as exemplified by recent comments made by one of the island’s most prominent politicians.

On Thursday, Jamaica’s security minister, Peter Bunting made some strong remarks regarding Dancehall while speaking at a Rotary Club of Liguanea Plains meeting in St Andrew. Minister Bunting used this platform to express his concern that Dancehall continues to hinder efforts by the government to curb criminal behavior.

In part, Bunting pointed to Jamaica’s affection for anti-heroes, explaining, in part, the root of rebellion that exists within the island.

“I think that a national hero that we haven’t named officially is ‘Anansi,’ because Jamaicans seem to love… an anti-authoritarian element in our culture,” he said.

However, what made Bunting’s comments particularly eye-catching was his singling out of incarcerated Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel, who currently faces murder and conspiracy charges in relation to two separate cases.

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