An elderly Wadena woman scammed out of $66,000 should be getting some of her money back following the sentencing of one individual involved in a theft by swindle case, according to Wadena County District Court documents.
The case stems from a report of a 90-year-old Wadena woman identified by her initials, C.H., who was called and told she had won $5 million from the Publisher’s Clearing House in December 2018. To get her money, she just had to send some payments to cover the taxes on the winnings. She sent payments of $22,000 and $44,000 to the two men involved, the court complaint states.
Wadena Police Sgt. Brandon Pearson said the case is a good example of why people should be skeptics of calls, emails and mailings that sound too good to be true. They usually are. With the abundance of scam complaints, Pearson was glad to see this case proceeding with charges and hopefully holding the scammers accountable.
The men charged in the theft by swindle case include Creston N. Lamonth, 35, of New Jersey, and Micah Anthony Mcgregor, 37, of New York. Both were extradited from their home states and both posted bail shortly after warrants went out for their arrest in March 2019.
Pearson said the Wadena resident came to police in January 2019 and officers began the difficult work of tracking them down. Pearson said these scams are not uncommon but this one was a large amount and was aided by the fact that these men created bank accounts for the funds using their real names.
Lamonth, who allegedly swindled the woman out of $22,000, was sentenced Nov. 9 with felony theft by swindle stemming from the offense that occurred Jan. 3, 2019. As part of his stay of adjudication, Lamonth has to write a letter of apology, pay restitution in the amount of $24,570.47 and pay court costs of $1,000.
Mcgregor is still pending disposition for his alleged swindling of $44,000 from the woman. He is supposed to have his next court appearance on the matter in January 2021.