It looks like you're using an Ad Blocker.
Please white-list or disable AboveTopSecret.com in your ad-blocking tool.
Some features of ATS will be disabled while you continue to use an ad-blocker.
Llamas's various fraud and money-laundering convictions arose from his participation in an elaborate sweepstakes scheme, which operated from approximately 2003 to 2006 out of San Jose, Costa Rica. The basic fraud scheme operated essentially as follows: Using lists purchased from "list brokers," operators placed telephone calls to persons in the United States, falsely claiming to represent organizations, such as the "Global Sweepstakes Authority" or the "United States Sweepstakes Security Commission," that did not exist. The initial phone calls were placed by operators called "openers", who would advise potential victims that they had won a cash prize. The openers would explain, however, that a winner was required to pay an up-front fee, typically between $1500 and $3000, to assure safe delivery of the prize money from outside the country. If the scheme worked, the victim would wire the fee to the call center through a moneytransferring service such as Western Union. After the fee was transferred, another operator at the call center - referred to as a "loader" - would call the victim again, seeking to extract an additional payment. In their efforts to "reload" victims, the loaders would often resort to more devious tricks, asserting that they represented insurance or government agencies and occasionally threatening their victims with prosecution. No prize money was ever paid, of course, and the fraud scheme continued in this manner until the victims were no longer willing to cough up additional funds.