A federal judge in North Dakota, the United States yesterday sentenced a Rhode Island woman to four years in prison for funneling lottery scam money between the U.S. and Jamaica, prompting a prosecutor to question the ruling.
Melinda Bulgin,29, received a sentence that was 10 years less than prosecutors had sought.
U.S. District Judge Daniel Hovland said Bulgin's role in the scam was not on the level of others who received lesser sentences than the 14 years requested by prosecutors.
The judge also ordered her to pay about US$333,000 in restitution.
A jury in September convicted Bulgin of conspiracy, fraud and money laundering in a scam that authorities say bilked more than 100 mostly elderly Americans out of more than US$6 million .
It's believed to be the first large-scale Jamaican lottery scam tried in the U.S.
The scam involved 31 defendants, including 14 Jamaicans, most of whom accepted plea deals with the US government.
The scam's alleged kingpin, Lavrick Willocks, was among those who accepted a plea deal.
A judge last October sentenced Willocks to six years, crediting him with cooperating.