Woman accused in J’can lottery scam pleads not guilty

Bismarck, North Dakota (AP) — A woman accused of helping a man who was convicted in North Dakota for his role in a Jamaican lottery scam has pleaded not guilty in federal court.

Melinda Bulgin, of Providence, Rhode Island, is charged with four counts, including mail and wire fraud.

Authorities say Bulgin handled money on behalf of Lavrick Willocks and Sanjay Williams, described as leaders of two separate scamming operations based in Jamaica. Williams was found guilty after a 10-day trial in May. Willocks is charged but remains in Jamaica.

Jamaican lottery scams have been happening for years, but rarely prosecuted. This case began when an FBI agent from North Dakota interviewed a Harvey woman who said she lost money in the scam.

Bulgin’s court-appointed attorney could not be immediately reached for comment.

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