PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Rhode Island man has been sentenced to 2 ½ years in prison for his role in a Jamaica-based telemarketing scam that targeted elderly U.S. citizens.

Federal prosecutors say 49-year-old Shawn Whitfield, of Pawtucket, received more than $109,000 in upfront payments from victims of the scam who were led to believe they had won cash or prizes in a lottery or sweepstakes.

Some victims were told they had won as much as $82 million. Others were told they were in line to receive $5,000 a week for life.

But the victims had to pay upfront fees to cover “taxes” and other expenses.

Most of the money collected by Whitfield was transferred electronically to Jamaica.

Whitfield pleaded guilty in June to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud.

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