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PITTBURGH (KDKA) — Federal authorities say Ashan Ishmael Levy and Ekeyma Ebony Harris, originally from Jamaica, ran a sweepstakes scam operation from a house on Imogene Street in Hazelwood.
They’re accused of praying on seniors, calling and telling them they won a large cash prize, but they would have to send money to pay taxes and other fees to claim that prize.
The scheme began to unravel when an 80-year-old woman in Colorado contacted authorities, saying she got a call from a man named Raymond Harris who told her she won $17 million from Publishers Clearing House. Harris told her not to tell anyone and instructed her to send $800 in cash for fees and taxes to Raymond Miller at the house on Imogene Street.
The victim said she received another call from someone who sounded like the same person, asking to send $6,000 to the same address. Then she said someone called her again and told her to send an additional $16,000.
The packages were sent to the postal service in East Liberty where Harris was seen picking them up on camera. The senior victim said calls showed up on her caller ID as Jamaican numbers and the people she spoke with had Jamaican accents.
Eventually, police and postal officials intercepted a package from the tracking number. They seized parcels containing thousands of dollars from people duped by the scam.