A Louisville, KY man is facing theft charges for allegedly running a sweepstakes scam that reached into multiple states and bilked victims – from as far away as Miami, Fla. and as close to home as Walnut Creek – out of thousands of dollars.
Investigators in Kentucky said 42-year-old Ekpendu Kingsley mailed letters to the victims’ homes announcing they had just won the “Publishers Clearing House Super Cash Giveaway.”
“Winners” were instructed to deposit enclosed checks issued for between $6,000 and $8,000 immediately, and then told to overnight between $5,200 and $7,000 cash to an address on Dixie Highway in Louisville.
Investigators said Kingsley allegedly accepted two parcels of money at the address and a third parcel was intercepted by police.
A search of Kingsley’s home uncovered 198 pre-addressed and stamped envelopes to people all over the U.S. with each envelope containing a bogus sweepstakes letter and a counterfeit check along with the same instructions found in envelopes intercepted by investigators.
Kingsley’s operation was in the process of mailing out more than $1.4 million in counterfeit checks, according to police. He has reportedly admitted to the scam, a rampant con which frequently targets the elderly.
Kingsley is charged with three counts of theft by deception and three counts of criminal possession of a forged instrument.